Rodney Leroy Slade

Former La Plata County resident Rodney Leroy Slade died Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was six days shy of his 77th birthday.

Mr. Slade was born to Raymond and Ruby Slade on Feb. 5, 1936, in Eagar, Ariz., He grew up in Eagar as well as Luna and Waterflow, N.M., but it was Farmington he called home.

“At a young age, he was ranching and raising cattle,” his daughter Dani Sherwood said, “to the point that his required school attendance was reduced by the principal to 36 days for his senior year, and he still graduated high school.”

Mr. Slade’s father was a cowboy and put his son behind the wheel of a truck when he was just 13 to haul cattle and ranch supplies.

Mr. Slade enlisted in the Army in 1954 and served during the Korean War.

He worked in various professions. His family said Mr. Slade was very proud of being a truck driver for 63 years. He won numerous awards in his profession in several competitions such as truck rodeos and mileage awards, including Driver of the Year.

Mr. Slade lived along the La Plata Highway (Colorado Highway 140) for many years.

“Rodney’s greatest joy was helping others, spreading the gospel, visiting with complete strangers and adding to their joy for the day,” his daughter said. “He had a heart of service to others and giving to anyone in need.”

Mr. Slade is survived by six children; 23 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; and a younger sister.

A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6948 Colorado Highway 140 in Redmesa. Bishop Mark Harris will officiate. Burial will occur at Redmesa Cemetery.

“The best contribution you may make in his name is to be a friend to others – a good friend,” his daughter said, “and help those in need.”

Monetary memorial contributions may be sent to the American Cancer Society or any hospice organization.