William J. “Bill” Slaight 94, passed away Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 8, 2011, at Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville, after being stricken at home earlier in the day.

William J. “Bill” Slaight 94, passed away Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 8, 2011, at Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville, after being stricken at home earlier in the day.


He was born in West Sparta on April 19, 1916, a son of the late Thomas and Lillian Redmond Slaight. On June 14, 1941, he was married to Ruth Marie Hanford Slaight, who survives.


Bill graduated from Geneseo High School. After graduating he attended the school of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University for two years. In 1939, he worked for a year at Hillcrest, his Grandfather Redmond's farm in West Sparta. He returned to Cornell and became the Beef Cattle Herdsman until 1946. Returning to West Sparta, Bill began his life-long career as a dairy farmer, as well as raising Angus cattle, sheep and hogs, on the farm that had been in the Slaight family since the 1850s. He was also a sales representative for Punks Seed Corn and a salesman for 37 years for Livingston Mutual Insurance Company.


Bill was a member of the West Sparta United Methodist Church, and a former member of the Dansville Presbyterian Church. He was active with the Cornell Cooperative Extension, the 4-H Club, and the West Sparta Grange. He was a member of the Phoenix Lodge 115 of the F&AM of Dansville. Bill had also served on the Board of Education at the Dansville Central School for 10 years, including three years as president. He served on the Board of Directors at the former Dansville Memorial Hospital and the Groveland State Bank. In his free time he enjoyed square dancing with his dear wife Ruth.


Surviving in addition to Ruth, his wife of nearly 70 years, are his children, Thomas (Barbara) Slaight of Providence, R.I.; Wilma Slaight of Ashland, Mass.; Stella Slaight of Rochester; Anne (Donald) Nowill of Brookline, Mass.; Martha Slaight of Westport Point, Mass.; and Charlie (Deborah) Slaight of Brentwood, Tenn. Also surviving are a brother, Walter (Jeri) Slaight of Arizona; three sisters, Helen Ward of New Jersey, Elizabeth Steur of Williamsville and Nancy Bell of Delaware; seven grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a brother, John Slaight; and a sister, Mary Streamer.


Friends called 3–7 p.m.  Friday, Feb. 11, at the Hindle Funeral Home, Inc., 271 Main St., Dansville. A memorial service was at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at the West Sparta United Methodist Church on Redmond Road, West Sparta. Interment will be in Oak Lawn Cemetery, West Sparta. Online remernbrances may be left at hindlefuneralhome.com.


In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the West Sparta United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 671, Dansville, NY 14437, or the Livingston County 4-H Club, 158 Main St., Mt. Morris, NY 14510.