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"'Most Admired Teacher" dies in hunting accident

Retired band director dies in accident

November 7, 2006
BY DEBORAH LAVERTY
dlaverty@nwitimes.com
219.662.5324

A former River Forest High School band director died Saturday in Michigan's Upper Peninsula after falling out of his boat while duck hunting, authorities there said.

Weldon John Slater Jr., 60, was transported to Helen Newberry Joy Hospital in Newberry, Mich., where he was pronounced dead, according to a report issued by the Mackinac County sheriff's office.

Although the accident remains under investigation by police, his widow, Claudia Slater, said it's her understanding that her husband died from hypothermia.

She said her husband was duck hunting on South Manistique Lake, a 4,000-acre waterway on which the former Chesterton couple made their home since 2001.

Police reports indicate Slater fell into the lake after shooing a duck but was pulled from the water to safety by his companion, Jim Wicks.

Wicks also was transported to the hospital and treated for hypothermia, police said.

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