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The Honorable Franklin M. Slayton

The Honorable Franklin M. Slayton of South Boston died Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, at his home. He was born in Richmond, Aug. 14, 1932 and was 81 years of age. He was the son the late Marshall William Slayton and Katherine Moore Slayton and is survived by his wife, Ruth Jean Gilliland Slayton.

Judge Slayton received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia, graduating from law school in June 1959, and upon graduation he received a reserve commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.  After leaving active duty, he entered the Judge Advocate General Corps of the Virginia Army National Guard, serving his state and nation with great pride and patriotism for 20 years as the JAG lawyer, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and the position of Judge Advocate General of the National Guard. 

Upon completion of his active duty tour in the United States Army, he began the practice of law in South Boston, with James S. Easley and Robert T. Vaughan. Judge Slayton served as acting commonwealth attorney for Halifax County during the illness of James E. Easley, prosecuting cases in the county and circuit court of Halifax County. Judge Slayton was appointed to the South Boston City School Board and served eight years fostering progressive changes in school policies benefiting all the citizens of South Boston and Halifax County.  

Judge Slayton was elected to the Virginia Assembly in 1972, representing the citizens of the 60th House District, serving in that capacity in the House of Delegates for eight terms and becoming an influential member of the House Appropriations and Court of Justice Committees. He was a leader and prime influence behind the revision of the Juvenile Justice Code of the commonwealth, the great majority of which remains in place today. Judge Slayton served the commonwealth as chairman of the Board of Youth and Family Services, always advocating for the protection and rights of children.  He championed the rights of all citizens of the commonwealth to equitable representation in the Virginia General Assembly, exemplified by his challenge of district gerrymandering before the Supreme Court of Virginia.  

The Honorable Franklin M. Slayton was appointed Judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for the Tenth Judicial District of Virginia on July 1, 1997, by Circuit Judges of this circuit, and confirmed by election in the Virginia General Assembly.  Judge Slayton has served the Tenth Judicial District with honor, integrity, intelligence and professionalism from the date of his appointment until his retirement on Jan. 28, 2003, emphasizing foster care, truancy and nonsupport issues, resulting in improvement in the court system in all these areas.  

After serving his town, state, county and nation, as a lawyer, delegate and jurist of the highest caliber, Judge Slayton retired from the bench at which time he was highly commended by the judges of the 10th Judicial Circuit for his distinguished service. They expressed respect, appreciation and affection for Judge Slayton and his many contributions to the 10th Judicial Circuit and to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Judge Slayton was a member and former deacon of First Presbyterian Church, South Boston, was a former member of the board of directors for the South Boston-Halifax County Historical Museum and was a member of the board of directors of the Halifax Educational Foundation.

The Honorable Franklin M. Slayton is survived by his wife, Ruth Jean G. Slayton, of South Boston; one daughter, Sarah S. Hodges, and James of Stafford; two sons, Marshall Douglas Slayton and Sandy of Halifax and George R. Slayton and Kim of Chester; one sister, Katherine Shortt, of Halifax; five grandchildren, Adam Marshall Slayton of Reston, Patrick Daniel Slayton of Fairfax, Emily Marshall Slayton of Halifax, Jacob Slayton Hodges of Charlottesville and Blaire Marie Hodges of Charlottesville.

Two brothers, William W. Slayton and Charles Wayne Slayton, preceded him in death. 

Funeral services for The Honorable Franklin Marshall Slayton will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, at 2 p.m. with the Rev. Dr. Russell Lee and The Rev. George Gorman officiating.

Burial will follow in Oak Ridge Cemetery. Immediately following the service there will be a catered reception at Ernie’s Restaurant.

The family received friends at Powell Funeral Home Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. and other times at the home, 2711 North Main Street, South Boston.

For memorials, consider the Halifax Educational Foundation, 820 Bruce Street, South Boston, VA 24592 or Halifax Regional Hospice, 2204 Wilborn Avenue, South Boston, VA 24592 or Halifax County Cancer Association, P. O. Box 1891, Halifax, VA 24558.

Online condolences may be directed to www.powellfunerals.com 

Arrangements are by Powell Funeral Home, South Boston.