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Vivian Bernice Slaughter

December 7, 1925 — October 19, 2023


Vivian Bernice Slaughter – Vicky 12-7-1925 to 10-10-2023

Born to Walter and Dolly Sherrill in Emmett, Idaho. She was the middle child in a family of 9 children. She outlived them all. Even though at the very young age of 9 she was burned over most of her body by an exploding kerosene lantern she was trying to light while babysitting younger siblings. She spent so long in the Shriner's Hospital in Seattle that she no longer felt part of the family. Her name was Bernice at home when she left. They called her Vivian at the hospital and somehow when she got home she became Vicky. She was never going to live, but she did! She was never going to walk, but she did! She was the Shriner's “Miracle Child”! It made her the toughest woman I have ever met. Just listening to what she had to go through as a burn victim back then, knowing she was talking about a little child, knowing she was talking about my mom, made me me cry. Didn't hit home until an older gentleman walked up to us on the street one day and recognized her and almost started to cry. He called her “our Shriner's Miracle Child”. She was a miracle all right. She would never let someone tell her she could not do something because she was limited due to her size or because she was (heaven help you) a woman.

Her 16th birthday roller skating party was spoiled on December 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor was bombed. She showed up but no one else did. She didn't know why right away. Another thing she had to endure.

She was not limited by her scars. She became a hands and hair model at Nordstroms in Seattle and sold war bonds for the war cause. She met her first husband and had her twin babies Dennis {deceased} and Dorine Christianson in 1944.

She moved back to Idaho after a failed marriage to care for her babies during a hellish time to be on her own with twin babies.

After the war, she met the love of her life Jack Slaughter a returning sailor then working in Cascade and staying with family. She was there working. They were married soon after. Carol was born in 1949. Jack loved Hunting and fishing with his friends and her brothers. She would not be left home or be left out. At first, it made him angry and embarrassed him in front of his friends but it did not take long until he was proud of her fight and proud that she could outhunt most men. If they did not want her to go, then it was just mom and dad. Soon, she was just one of them, always!

My sister and I were born with certain rights built right it!

From the time I can remember, she had someone living with us. She always took one nephew or another under her wing. She would load up a truck or van with kids and just her and go camping, fishing, or hunting. She taught them all how to hunt and fish. When Dorine and I had kids, she would take them all camping by herself. I don't know how she did it. When they got home, you couldn't tell what color they were but they were the happiest children you could ask for. I make it sound so minimized but believe me when I say it was so very important to them. She taught them to hunt, fish, survive, and just live. She has a few nephews who thought of her as more of a mom than an aunt. Dorine loved to campfire cook, but me, I stuck with the guys hunting and fishing. She let us choose.

She earned her “Badge of Courage”. She outlived all of her brothers and sisters despite the horrific start and multiple cancer operations she had to fight. She lost her mother, she lost her father, she lost her son, and her husband in 2003. But she is survived by her two daughters Dorine L. Christianson, (husband Rod Christianson deceased), Carol K. Staley (husband Terry Staley) , her 7 grandchildren , along with all her great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. She has a lot of nieces and nephews still grieving. She has a huge wonderful family that loved her dearly.

Vivian's very beloved 4-year-old great-great granddaughter Avery whom she spent the last weekend with coloring, is something they both loved to share together. Upon hearing that her Great GG had passed, Avery said a prayer thanking her Great GG for letting her color with her. SO DID I! I was so thankful we were all with her. She was the light of our lives!!!


There will be a memorial this summer at the cabin. Time is yet to be determined.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vivian Bernice Slaughter, please visit our flower store.


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