Hell of a Guy

He Was Known As “Big Daddy”...


Throughout my life I have known many people but few touched my life as this man did.

I believe it was in the late summer of 1974 I began to work for Winfree H. Slater Realtors.  Mr. Slater passed away this week at 95-years of age. He was called “Win” by many and was “Big Daddy” to those of us who had the distinct pleasure of working for him.  Win Slater was an extraordinary man.

When this man entered a room he did so with a military bearing; his head held high, standing tall, and his shoulders back, he had an undeniable presence.  He was a self-made, confident leader.  His baritone voice was evidence of his confidence and his leadership.  Winfree Slater was one of a kind, and Lord, will he be missed.

For some inexplicable reason he liked me.  Over the years when he was active in his real estate business, Winfree Slater employed some top-notch real estate superstars in Richmond, Virginia.  I was not one of them, and had I been him I would have gotten rid of me after a few months.  As far as real estate acumen was concerned, I sucked.  But he allowed me to stay with his firm for six years where for the most part I merely took up desk space and struggled to maintain a bare minimum income.  Still, this man affected me and an effect of me, and I will be forever in his debt. I am more than certain many feel exactly the same as I.

I had the pleasure of spending a little time with him on his 95th birthday, and it was the last time I saw him.  Confined to a wheel chair and in an assisted living facility, he still resonated the bearing he always had and probably did to the very end.  I am certain this man is in Heaven and has assumed a leadership role.  It is the only role he knows.

God bless, my old friend Winfree Slater.  To use a father’s last words to his son at his son’s funeral, “I will see you when I see you.” 

And that is all I have to say about that…

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