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Citrus Heights couple passes away within a week of eachother

Theodore W. Slauson and wife, Janet I. (Cunningham) Slauson, passed away within a week of eachother on March 6 and 13, 2021. // Image courtesy, family

By Mike Hazlip—
Theodore Slauson and his wife Janet were among thousands of military families who settled in sleepy suburbs like Citrus Heights in the 1970s. They remained residents for five decades, until their passing last month.

In March, Ted passed away from a blood infection at age 87, and his wife, 86, passed away just a week afterward when the family said her heart stopped.

The couple’s son, Dan Slauson, told The Sentinel in an email Monday that his father’s original intention was to settle in their native Wisconsin, following retirement from the Air Force. However, not wanting to uproot the family once more, the couple decided to stay in Citrus Heights after Ted’s retirement in 1972.

Dan described his parents’ six-decade marriage as “dynamic,” saying they each had their own hobbies and interests, but loved going to casinos, traveling, and the Chicago Cubs. Slauson said his parents’ commitment to each other is what kept their relationship going.

“They stayed together because of their deep rooted love for each other, although for some that may have been hard to see since they were not shy about voicing their opinion to the other around others,” he said.

The Slauson family eventually grew to six children, and Dan said his mother raised them mostly on her own as Ted was away on temporary duty assignments for the Air Force. Looking back, Slauson wonders how his parents managed all the children on a limited income, but he said they were well cared for.

Ted collected electric trains while Jan collected teddy bears and milk glass. The couple would find these treasures at garage sales or second hand store. Dan Slauson said his parents’ hobbies influenced the children, who also have a fondness for collecting.

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He said his parents taught the children to be independent and resourceful; also encouraging their children to follow their dreams and “never pass up a good yard sale.”

“They were definitely impressionable and two of a kind,” Slauson said. “When they made friends, those friendships lasted a lifetime.”

“There is also something to be said about their bond, as mom lived only one week after dad passed away,” he said. “It was clear they were supposed to be together.”

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