Slaton Sharp Smith
Slaton Sharp Smith passed away Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at Nacogdoches Medical Center surrounded by family and friends. He was 45 years of age.
Services were held Saturday, April 11, 2015, at the First Baptist Church in Nacogdoches.
Interment was at Sunset Memorial Park.
Slaton was born in Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County, Texas. His parents were Dr. Robert Aaron and Susan Smith. Slaton was a graduate of Nacogdoches High School and received his degree from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science. Professionally, he was an entrepreneur and served as Regional Representative for a major orthopedic surgical equipment company.
Slaton was married for 20 years to his high school sweetheart, the former Robin Pantalion. Their marriage was a true example of love, devotion, and in the best sense of the word, a partnership. They have three outstanding sons, Samuel Gunnar Smith, Jake Pantalion Smith and Robert Aaron Augustus Smith all of Nacogdoches County. No father ever possessed more pride and love than Slaton when it came to his boys.
Slaton was a friend to all who knew him and he had a profound impact on his community; particularly the young people he encountered. He never met a stranger and his strength of character and quick wit made all who encountered him better for the exchange. Slaton served in many leadership capacities including, but not limited, to the following: Commissioner for the Nacogdoches Baseball Association, President of the Pineywoods Football League, serving as coach of literally dozens of basketball, baseball and little league football teams. As a coach, he served as a true mentor to hundreds of children.
Slaton also served as a past President of the Nacogdoches Jaycees Club, a former member of the Nacogdoches Rotary Club, President of the Quarterback Club at Nacogdoches High School, a member of the Masonic Lodge and holder of the prestigious political office of Nacogdoches County Public Weigher. He was also an avid hunter and outdoorsman.
Slaton’s charitable involvements are too numerous to fully list however it should be noted that he served as President of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at Texas A&M University and while serving in that capacity was the founder of Chili Fest, a fundraising event whose annual attendance now exceeds 40,000 and from which has been raised literally millions of dollars for various charities including the Boys & Girls Club. Slaton’s positive impact on others was, remains, and will continue to be substantial. Several academic scholarships, as well as a foundation, have been established in his name and the Boys and Girls Club of East Texas has named its new football complex in his honor.
Slaton’s faith was unwavering and he lived by the maxim that God is first, family is second and work is third and if you live life in that order all other things will fall into place. Slaton’s long and courageous fought against cancer served as a model of how to live life to the fullest and make the most of each day God grants us. The love and support of Robin along with the courage exhibited by Gunnar, Jake and Gus sustained and uplifted Slaton through this battle and helped lead him to the victory he has now attained.
Slaton is survived by his wife, Robin and three sons all of Nacogdoches County. He is also survived by his brother Shannon Lee Smith and wife Marcie and their two sons Benjamin Parker Smith and Andrew Grayson Smith of Nacogdoches as well as his aunts Dr. Barbara Carol Smith of Huntsville, and Diane Sharp Lederer of Houston. Slaton is also survived by his step mother Vida Smith Raney of Nacogdoches.
He is survived additionally by his mother-in-law Nell Pantalion; sister-in-law Angie Pantalion Webb and her husband Duncan and their sons Hayden and Blake Webb; and his brother-in-law, Neal Pantalion.
Slaton was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Robert Aaron Smith and mother, Susan Sharp Smith. Slaton was also preceded in death by his grandparents who included paternal grandmother Barbara Cross Smith Arwood.
Pallbearers were Matt Cox, Randy Leonhardt, Drew Pierce, Rex Perry, John Green and Je. Davis. Honorary Pallbearers were Dr. Craig Sessions, Jay Elms, Dr. Mike Randle, Mike Hebert, Dr. Dan Fuentes, Nick Spencer, Duncan Webb and Gary Russell.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations either be made to the Slaton Smith Scholarship at the Nacogdoches High School Alumni Association or the Slaton Smith Foundation created for the benefit of the Nacogdoches Boys and Girls Club in c/o Shannon Smith, 4635 NE Stallings Drive, Suite 101, Nacogdoches, Texas 75965.