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Community pays final respects

The Honorable Franklin Marshall Slayton served his nation, state and community in many ways, and that service was reflected in those gathering for a Service of Witness to the Resurrection for Slayton Friday at First Presbyterian Church in South Boston.

Slayton died Tuesday afternoon at his South Boston home with his family by his side.

Slayton was a soldier, attorney, South Boston School Board member, eight-term delegate to the Virginia legislature and Judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for the 10th Judicial Circuit of Virginia.

A number of judges from the 10th Judicial Circuit paid homage to their former colleague by attending the service, including the Honorable Michael Rand, retired Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court judge, and the Honorable J. William Watson Jr., judge for Halifax General District Court.

Rand and Watson were among those making remarks at the service.

Jim Luedtke performed special music during the service, an “American Medley” of patriotic songs.

Hymns included “In the Garden” and “This is My Father’s World.”

The Rev. Dr. Russell Lee and the Rev. George Gorman officiated at the service.

Slayton was interred at Oak Ridge Cemetery with military rites following the service.

Upon graduation from law school, Slayton was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the Virginia Army National Guard, serving for 20 years as a JAG lawyer and rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Slayton served as acting Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney during the illness of Commonwealth’s Attorney James S. Easley, and he also served eight years on the South Boston City School Board.

Slayton joined Easley in the practice of law in 1959 and practiced law together until Easley’s death in 1965.

Until his retirement in January 2004, Slayton held court in Halifax, Mecklenburg and Charlotte counties on a weekly basis.

He represented Halifax and Charlotte counties in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1972-1988.

During his eight terms as delegate for the 60th House District, Slayton served as a member of the House Appropriations and Courts of Justice Committees.

Slayton also served as chairman of the Board of Youth and Family Services and was a leader behind the revision of the Juvenile Justice Code of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  

Slayton was honored in 2011 at the Charlotte County Courthouse with the formal dedication of The Honorable Franklin M. Slayton Law Library, after Slayton offered to donate his entire law library as an unconditional gift to the Charlotte County Court clerk’s office.