Nature 10

David Edwin Slipke

August 25, 1958 ~ May 16, 2022 (age 63)

Tribute

David Slipke, 63, passed away May 16, 2022 from complications of liver cancer.

He will be remembered by his children and his grandchildren, whom he affectionately called “The Little Monsters,” as a loving father and papa, a dedicated farmer with unparalleled work ethic, a kind stranger to anyone he encountered and a loyal friend who would give the shirt off his back.

David also suffered from addiction, a disease that caused his untimely death.

Farming was in his blood. David grew up in a one stop-sign town in rural Kansas, where he farmed with his father and brothers. At age 30, David and his then wife, Joan, moved to Bristol, Connecticut with their 1-year-old daughter to help run Green Acres Farm. There they had two more children, and Dave managed the farm for more than 25 years. Everyone knew “Farmer Dave,” who waved to everybody, and his “Kandy Corn,” a crop that had a cult-like following because of its sweetness. He dressed up in Halloween costumes to give hayrides to local school children. His children have fond memories of working alongside their dad on the farm. He could pick six bags of corn in the time others could pick just one, and he outworked people half his age when stacking hay. At 60 years old, he was still hoeing fields and picking boxes of tomatoes on his surgically reconstructed knees.

Although farming was his passion, David’s love of family shined above all else. He built his children a hockey rink in the backyard and a tree house in the front. He taught them a love of animals, the outdoors and dirt. He passed down his knowledge, kindness and work ethic, but also his goodness – something reflected brightly in his three children.

David’s only request every year for Christmas was world peace.

He persuaded his wife to allow them to use an inheritance from his grandmother to buy a camcorder – a luxury item in the late-80s – to capture milestones and everyday moments in their children’s lives. Those moments mattered to him. He drove all over the state to cheer on his son’s hockey teams and would pop up in multiple spots along the five-kilometer course at his children’s cross country races. There wasn’t a greater joy than the love on his face when he first met his grandchildren. That love streamed from his eyes when he held each of them for the first time, and his stubbornness and orneriness is starting to show in them as his two oldest grandkids enter the “Terrible 3s.” They loved racing cars, zooming around outside, picking out treats from the ice cream truck and plucking ripe tomatoes from the garden with Papa. After long days in the sun at work, he still had the energy to chase his grandkids in the yard, even if it meant he had to put off icing his knees. He wasn’t afraid of acting goofy if it meant putting a smile on someone’s face. David always had dirt under his nails and calluses on his hands but he also would don a frilly pink hat to play dress up with his kids.

David was also an addict. For decades, he waged an excruciating and courageous battle against this disease, often suffering alone and in silence. It changed him. It took over. It severed relationships. He never made this choice. This disease infected him and every aspect of his life.

In David’s last year of life, his children were so proud of his strength as he attended an inpatient treatment center and remained sober. It was not too little, but it was too late.  He was a fighter, bravely battling cancer and never wanting to give up even when there was no cure. He could be a tough patient at times. There were stories of how he kicked doctors out of the ICU. He survived two comas. Dad’s strength and resolve is something his children will always admire.  In his final days, David was surrounded by those who loved him most, hearing his three children’s voices in the moments before he left this world, finally at peace and free from the grip of his horrible disease. 

David was preceded in death by his parents, Miriam and Edwin Slipke. He is survived by his children Darla Slipke and her husband, Justin Hite; Derek Slipke and his wife, Marie; and Jenna Slipke and her fiancé, Joe Pistritto. His five grandchildren, Casey, Anze, Darby, Luka, and Juliana will miss their Papa forever. He also is survived by his seven siblings and their spouses Pam and Dan David, Mike and Kathy Slipke, Linda and Ron Baumberger, Theresa and Ivan Sarac, Raymond and Bonita Slipke, William and Michelle Slipke, and Alan and Phyllis Slipke; and 18 nieces and nephews, their spouses and their children.

The first time David wanted to seek help, he was unable to secure a spot in a state-funded treatment program and could not afford private treatment. In his honor, his children are starting a scholarship fund to allow others to get the help they deserve and to support other families who are struggling to help a loved one. If you’d like to donate to help families affected by addiction, please send checks payable to “David Slipke Memorial Fund” to 412 Rusert Dr SE, Leesburg, VA 20175 or online at www.zellepay.com using the email davidslipkememorialfund@gmail.com.

In lieu of flowers, please do one random act of kindness in David’s honor and consider attending an open Alcoholics Anonymous meeting or Al-Anon meeting. David was never able to openly talk about his struggle, but our hope is that by sharing his story now, we can help break through the silence and the stigma that too often surrounds this disease. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 12:30 PM at St. Gregory the Great Church, Bristol.  Friends and family are also invited to attend calling hours on Friday, May 20, 2022, from 5 to 7 PM at O’Brien Funeral Home, Bristol.  A short service will be held at the conclusion of the visitation.  For those that cannot attend the visitation, the service will be live streamed beginning at 7 PM on David’s page at www.OBrien-FuneralHome.com.  

Dad, we hope you finally found the peace you asked for.

 


 

To view recorded funeral home service, please click the following link or copy and paste to your address bar.
https://view.oneroomstreaming.com/authorise.php?k=1652915692184986
 

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Services

Calling Hours
Friday
May 20, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
O'Brien Funeral Home
24 Lincoln Ave.
Bristol, CT 06010

Video is available for this event


Mass of Christian Burial
Saturday
May 21, 2022

12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
St. Gregory Church
235 Maltby St.
Bristol, CT 06010

Donations

David Slipke Memorial Fund
412 Rusert Drive, S.E., Leesburg VA 20175
Email: davidslipkememorialfund@gmail.com
Web: https://www.zellepay.com

Through Zellepay.com, create an account and use the contact email to send the donation.

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