In Memory

Larry Slaymaker - Class Of 1967

Larry Slaymaker, age 65, of High Springs, FL, passed away at home on Monday, January 13, 2014. He was born December 22, 1949 in West Palm Beach, Florida, son of the late Red and Ann Slaymaker. He resided in West Palm Beach until moving to North Florida in 1987. Larry graduated from Riviera Beach High School in 1967 and was a member of I.B.E.W for 20+ years. He started his own tree farm, Slay's Trees in 1988 and ran it until retiring in 2011. Larry is survived by his wife of 44 years, Jeanette; three children: Jeremiah (Janet) Slaymaker, Justin (Wrenda) Slaymaker, Jessica (John) MacLaren; 7 grandchildren; sister MaryAnn Beyer; brother Richard (Rose) Slaymaker; brother Michael (Cindy) Slaymaker. He is preceded in death by his brother James Slaymaker. The family will receive relatives and friends at 1:00, Saturday, January 18th at Slay's Trees Farm in celebration of his life.

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Published in The Palm Beach Post from Jan. 16 to Jan. 19, 2014

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01/20/14 11:45 AM #1    

Gary McDaniel (1967)

I miss my Life time friend already.  We shared many memories growing up.  We meet in 1961, attended Howell Watkins its first year of opening.  We took our first lickings with the Dean Mac paddle side by side for misbehaving on the school bus and that was not a one time event.  As on occasions we were called to the Deans Office with Larry Kramer, Paul Oliver, Reggie and Rapley Stone and others.  We hunted Dove and Quail on the Mac Arthur property behind The Slaymaker and Kramer home between what is now Lighthouse Drive and RCA Blvd (MONET ROAD) and hunted Corbett Area guided by Big Brother Art Chesson with Joe (Billy to some).  We grew up appreciating Life and shared what little we had and were there when it mattered. We drove cars before issuance of a driver’s license and manufactured a wide range of Beach and Swamp Buggies for off road use before we could own a car and before someone cloned the word ATV.  

Memory Lane:

Long school dresses, no smoking, first Mc Donald’s (I million served) and Dunkin Donuts. RBHS is featured on national news as to community segregation policies. Calculators are invented and NASA space flights set a course to eventually land a man on the moon.  For recreation we modified muscle cars to rendezvous at the AIA burnt bridge (Dead mans curve) on Singer Island or at the end of Donald Ross.  Till Governor Kirk directed a raid arresting many of the south county and Greenacres competitors, as the north county racers had been for warned by a friendly FHP officer that regularly joined the week end events.   Dancing at WPB Armory, Jupiter Civic Club and Music Casters locate in the Rivera Beach International Bazaar.  Beach buggy runs on Juno and Jupiter Beaches before being outlawed. 

It was 1967 or 1968 when Slay, DeCoursey (1968), Kramer along with Paul Oliver and I visit the Jupiter Farms area under development. Our futures were undecided with the draft over our heads.  Slay and Oliver joined Marine Corp Reserves and I waited out the draft after a year of college when I mistakenly took a break.  Slay, DeCoursey captured there dream and bought acreage that they would later sell off to build homes and start family futures. In the event I have Decoursey’s ear. Do you remember cruising egg night with Slay or our work at the Gladiator Restaurant now named Pronti’s? I would remain friends with Slay over the years and at one point he and Jeanette became my nursery advisor in my development of a South Carolina Landscape Tree farm. Slay was an amazing horticulturist and tree farmer. He specialized in Live Oaks and was well know in the industry in the South for growing a superior product and passed the talents down to his son. His advice was always on point whether he spoke about container growth, media, fertilizer, and pruning or in ground growth processes. He could look at a tree and know immediate it was lacking something and take corrective measures before nature took an adverse course.

My friend knew how to enjoy and appreciate life and family.  Jeanette and Larry married out of High School and were always best friends with a tight family circle.  My heart goes to those his life was all about. 

Forever, I intend to share his memory and knowing he is listening pass on these words:

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free
I'm following the path god has chosen for me.
I took His hand when I heard him call;
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day, 

To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I've now found peace at the end of the day.
if my parting has left a void,
then fill it with remembered joys.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss;
Oh yes, these things, I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
Look for the sunshine of tomorrow.

My life's been full, I savored much;
Good friends, good times, a loved ones touch.

Perhaps my time seems all too brief;
Don't lengthen you pain with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and peace to thee, 
God wanted me now-He set me free

A friend of “Slays” for life!!

Gary McDaniel

01/20/14 01:27 PM #2    

Patricia Ann Taktikos (1965)

What a lovely tribute for your dear friend . My sincere condolences to you, Gary, and to Larry Slaymaker's family...... Patricia Taktikos Gomer, Class of '65. 

01/23/14 08:33 AM #3    

Richard Mirabilio (1965)


What a wonderfull tribute. Richard Slaymaker and I graduated together.

Stay well.

Rich & Sharon Mirabilio

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