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Obituary: Ralph J. Slavik 1927-2013

Ralph J. Slavik

Ralph J. Slavik

Ralph J. Slavik, 85, passed away July 1, 2013 peacefully at home in Cottonwood, AZ, with his beloved wife Eve by his side. Ralph and Evelyn, recently moved to Cottonwood from Kingman, AZ where they had lived in an old Stuckey's restaurant on Historical Route 66.   

He was born December 16, 1927 in St. Paul Minnesota to Frank and Mary Slavik from Bohemia.  Ralph a veteran, joined the Marines during World War II and after his discharge was active in the Reserves.

Ralph graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in engineering.  He worked as an aeronautical engineer at Allison's in Indianapolis and then at NASA in Cleveland, Ohio.  He retired in the 70's and moved to Kingman, AZ.  Making good use of his pilot's license, he was a pillar of the experimental aircraft group in Kingman.  

For many years Ralph built experimental aircrafts in his living-room at home. One of these kit planes was donated to the Kingman chapter for the EAA.  He was also an accomplished auto mechanic, restored old cars, was an avid stock trader and active in community theater groups and was himself a playwright.  He also volunteered at the Kingman Regional Medical Center for over 10 years.

Gleaming stars and dramatic scenery formed the backdrop for much of Ralph Slavik's life.

Retired in his 50's, he let his worn hiking boots carry him and friends who were lucky enough to accompany him, through the many jewels of nature within the U.S. National Parks.  

In his 60's he found the love of his life and a companion equal to the challenge of often arduous hiking-his wife of 24 years Evelyn.  Together they covered a range of territory that would put many able-bodied college-age people to shame.  

They also enjoyed many glorious rafting trips with his good friend & rafting buddy Fred and his son Frank who often served as "Chef."

Ralph was an avid walker and 3- or 5-mile walks a day was routine.  One accomplishment was his hike from rim to rim at the Grand Canyon.

He is survived by his wife Evelyn; sister Beatrice Backer, sons Frank Slavik (Laurel) of Plymouth, Minnesota, Daniel Slavik of Phoenix, Arizona, daughters Diane Corey (Steven) of Chicago, Illinois, Donna Slavik of Massachusetts; stepchildren Paul O. Dunn Jr. (Nancy) of San Diego, California,  Cheryl Heimer of Sedona, Arizona and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Preceded in death; his parents Frank and Mary Slavik; brothers Maynard, Alvin and LeRoy Slavik; sisters Esabell Jones and Elizabell Slavik.

Memorial services will be held at Westcott Funeral Home in Cottonwood, Friday, July 12, 2013 at 1pm.  Burial will follow at the Sedona Community Cemetery in Sedona, Arizona with military honors.  

Donations to University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN or Boys Town, Nebraska.

An online guestbook is available at

Information provided by survivors.

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