Dan Bruce Slagle, age 59 of Sargent, died Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011, at St. Francis Medical Center in Grand Island.
Dan was born April 17, 1952, in Loup City, to Paul and Ardes (Huffman) Slagle. he attended country school at West Union and then at Sargent Public School, where he graduated in 1970.
As a youth, he was active in many school activities, including FFA and sports. During the summer months, Dan and his younger brother, Tim, helped on the family farm and participated in 4-H.
He continued his education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and in 1974 earned a bachelorâ€™s degree in animal science. This is where he met his future wife, Beth Bates. They were united in marriage at Griswold, Iowa, July 7, 1973.
He taught agricultural education at the Ashland-Greenwood Public Schools for one year before they moved to Ogallala in 1975, where Dan was employed as an assistant manager with the Wheelerâ€™s Farm Store. In 1976, when the opportunity arose for him to return to his love of farming and ranching, they moved to a farm near Gates, where they lived until 1981. During this time, they were blessed with a daughter, Kayla Michele, Aug. 6, 1978, and a son, Jared Neal, March 20, 1981. Shortly thereafter they moved to their current home west of Sargent.
During the farm crisis of the 1980s, Dan was a strong advocate for area farmers and ranchers. He worked for the Nebraska Farm Crisis Hotline and helped to organize the Prairie Pantry in Taylor, providing assistance and support to local rural families. Because of the struggles of agricultural life during this time, he found in necessary to seek off the farm employment.
While still pursuing his agricultural ventures, he continued his advocacy roles with employment at Mid-Nebraska Individual Services, the Nebraska Department of Social Services and the Sargent Community Hospital. Once he was able to turn more of his focus back to the farm, Dan worked part-time in insurance sales, advertising and for the U.S. Census Bureau. At the time of his death, he was employed with the USDAâ€™s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Dan loved auctions and could often be found at area livestock auctions and farm sales. He had a great interest in antiques and collecting or just finding a good bargain. His true passion, though, was his family.
He was always active in his childrenâ€™s activities, whether is was 4-H, church or sporting events. He particularly enjoyed the new season of his life with the addition of his grandchildren to the family.
Dan was a member of the First Christian Church of Broken Bow, where he served as an elder and youth leader.
Memorial services were Aug. 24, 2011, at First Christian Church, with Seth Bates and Don Schauda officiating. Burial was in the Gates Cemetery at Gates. Pallbearers were Chad Hackel, Gene Schnase, Jody Mortensen, Kelly Flynn, David Dentino and Dennis Beaumont. Rhoad Funeral Home of Sargent was in charge of arrangements.
Dan is survived by his wife, Beth; daughter, Kayla Spence and husband Derek of Wilber; son, Jared of Farnam; grandchildren, Kenson and Conleigh Spence of Wilber; his mother, Ardes Slagle of Sargent; brother, Tim Slagle and wife Sheree of Berwyn; and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Preceding him in death were his father, Paul; and his grandparents, John and Harriet Slagle, and Harrold and Elda Huffman.
Memorials are suggested to the First Christian Church of Broken Bow, or Love A Child Haitian Childrenâ€™s Ministry.
Published in Custer County Chief, Aug. 25, 2011