Oct. 26, 1919 – May 20, 2013
William H. Slack Jr., of Williamsville, a retired Buffalo firefighter who earned numerous honors for his rescue work, died May 20 in ElderWood Health Care at Oakwood, Amherst, after a short illness. He was 93.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Fosdick-Masten Park High School. He served in the Army during World War II and was among the first troops deployed to Great Britain. He took part in landings in Africa, Sicily and Italy.
He was awarded five Battle Stars, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Arrowhead, the Distinguished Service Cross and two Presidential Commendations.
Mr. Slack joined the Buffalo Fire Department in 1950 and won numerous honors and citations. He was given the Edward H. Butler Medal for assisting in saving the lives of a priest and his nephew in Lake Erie in 1954. He retired in 1981 as assistant superintendent of apparatus.
He also was awarded the Erie County Fire Chiefs Medal for rescuing a woman from a burning building; the Erie County Fire Chiefs Mutual Aid Association Award for carrying two children to safety from a house fire; the SPCA Award for saving a cat from a burning building; the Citizen Hero Award; and the Frank A. Sedita Good Neighbor Award in 1986 for his unselfish service to people in his neighborhood.
He was a member of the Fire Department Retirement Club; George F. Lamm Post 622, American Legion; and Louis J. Boland Post 258, American Legion, where he served as commander.
He also was a member of the Combat Veterans Association and the Disabled American Veterans.
An Eagle Scout, he was active in the Boy Scouts for 30 years. He was scoutmaster and chairman of Troop 55 and a member of the Order of the Arrow. He organized the Old Humboldt District Order of the Arrow and served as its first adviser.
His wife of 52 years, Mae Elsesser Slack, died in 1994.
Survivors include a son, William H. III; and two daughters, Judith Miceli and Susan.
A memorial service was held May 22 in Harris Hill Cemetery, Clarence.