# Tom Slater

Farewell to an altar boy

Tom Jochum delivered this eulogy at his friend Tom Slater‘s funeral on March 21. -promoted by desmoinesdem

When Don Avenson passed away in May of last year, Tom Slater called me. He
reminded me that when Republicans controlled the legislature from 1979 to 1982,
Avenson and Lowell Junkins had made us ranking members of the Human Services
Appropriations subcommittee and turned us loose to wreak havoc.

Tom was a cross between Bobby Kennedy and Emmett Grogan and I was a
Northend Kid from Dubuque so we knew what to do.

He had me laughing at the memory of how we had forced them to reinstate a
program that they eliminated, kept them from eliminating programs that they
wanted gone and even instituted a new health care program for children.

But I knew the real reason he called. He knew that Don had been my mentor and
he was checking to see if I was okay. That was vintage Tom Slater.

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Remembering Senator Tom Slater

Charles Bruner is a longtime advocate for “policies that support children and strengthen families.” He posted this reflection on Facebook following the passing of his friend, a former legislator and founder of the State Public Policy Group. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Thanks to Facebook friends Angie Slater, Mark Lambert, Jodi Tomlonovic, Tom Jochum, Christopher Slater, and I am sure others for their reflections on Tom Slater, who died on St. Patrick’s Day after a life much longer and enriching than 72 calendar years.

To add to these reflections, I first met and talked with Tom over thirty-five years ago, in 1981. He was a state senator and I was a lowly state representative, trying to figure out whether I should run for re-election to the House or go to, in Don Avenson’s view, the moribund and dreaded Senate. I contacted Senator Slater, the closest thing to a Young Turk the Senate had, to seek advice. Tom took me out to lunch – at one of the greasiest of greasy spoons I thought could exist, which made Iowa State Fair food seem health-giving.

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