James Sleznick Jr.
James Sleznick Jr.

Obituary of James Sleznick Jr.

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In loving memory of James (Jim) Sleznick Jr, a man of many titles and achievements, a legacy, born 11/12/1932, who peacefully passed away at the age of 91, 4/21/2024, in his own home in San Juan Bautista, CA, surrounded by his cherished family. Jim is survived by Gayle, his wife of 62 years, his daughter Tina, son Tony and their spouses John and Colette. Jim's journey began in Chicago, as a first-generation Russian immigrant, where he lived with his parents and late sister Olga. This is where he laid the foundation for a life filled with purpose and dedication. He is survived there by his niece Joy, nephew Adam and their spouses Michael and Andrea. A lifelong visionary, Jim pursued his passion for botany and chemistry, ultimately becoming a respected teacher and an expert in the study of orchids. He served as president of the local Orchid Society, and loved sharing his expertise with others. On any day one could find their living room with lots of vibrantly colorful year-round blooms. Jim had many passions and was an eager collector, he loved exotic chocolates, rum, mushrooms, Spam........... Jim's adventurous spirit led him to become a park ranger, where he met his wife Gayle at Crater Lake National Park. Together, they subsequently built their life among the National Parks, raising two children, Tina and Tony, and going from the Grand Canyon to Yosemite, Washington DC, the US Virgin Islands, and the Lava Beds. Jim ultimately dedicated 35 years of his career to the National Parks, serving from seasonal park ranger to superintendent, culminating at The Pinnacles, all the while maintaining a parallel career as a reservist in the US Navy. Throughout his life, Jim was deeply committed to serving his community. He held positions of leadership as president of the Chamber of Commerce in San Juan Bautista and president of Hollister's Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation Board. Jim's efforts also extended to the establishment of a much-needed community clinic in San Juan Bautista, reflecting his dedication to improving healthcare access for all. He served as president for Rotary Clubs and went on to start a chapter in San Juan Bautista alongside local Larry Cain. Jim also represented the National Park's partnership with San Benito County park, and dedicated local volunteers in the commemoration of the local section of the famous Anza trail, ensuring people have continued access to nature and beauty. In recognition of his exceptional contributions, Jim was honored as "Man of the Year," for San Benito County Chamber of Commerce; a testament to the profound impact he had on the lives of those around him. His legacy of leadership and service will be remembered fondly by all who had the privilege of knowing him. As we bid farewell to Jim, let us celebrate his remarkable life and the enduring impact he had on his family, community and beyond. May his memory inspire us to embrace each day with purpose and kindness. Rest in peace, James Sleznick, Jr: a true pillar of strength and compassion.
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James Sleznick Jr.

In Loving Memory

James Sleznick Jr.

1932 - 2024

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