William A. Slawter, 81, formerly of Upper Darby, a retired insurance broker, athlete, and civic volunteer, died Wednesday, Dec. 21, of complications from multiple myeloma at his home in Birdsboro, Berks County.
Mr. Slawter was a brokerage manager for 20 years at an Occidental Life insurance sales office in Bala Cynwyd. He then was employed for a decade as a broker by MacNamee Group, West Chester, before setting out as an independent agent for 10 years. He retired in 2008.
Insurance was his bread and butter, but sports was his passion, his family said. He played semiprofessional soccer from 1953 until 1974, and capped his time as a player by refereeing high school and college games until 2010, when he was 75.
He was a scorekeeper, goal judge, and penalty-box official for the professional indoor soccer team, the Philadelphia KiXX. The team ceased operations in 2010.
He also followed as a fan the Philadelphia Phantoms, a professional ice hockey team that played in the American Hockey League from 1996 to 2009.
Born in Philadelphia, he was reared in Upper Darby, graduating in 1953 from Upper Darby High School.
In 1964, he married Mary Donovan. The couple lived in Upper Darby, and had four children.
In November 2015, Mr. Slawter was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of bone marrow plasma. He found chemotherapy grueling and fought to minimize its effect on his activities, especially his attendance at the soccer games he loved.
"He only missed games when he was hospitalized," said his son, William A. Slawter Jr. "He was in a wheelchair the last five months, but he still wanted to go to the games in his wheelchair. He was a pistol."
Prior to becoming ill, Mr. Slawter sang in the choir at St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in Aston, where he was a member for the past 15 years.
He volunteered with the Cardington-Stonehurst Fire Company #4 and the Upper Darby Jaycees. He was a founding member of the Jaycees' Help, Instruct and Prevent in Drugs program, known as HIPID, which provided a hotline to get help for illegal drug users.
He was a volunteer at the Brandywine Museum in Chadds Ford and an usher at the Walnut Street Theatre in Center City.
Mr. Slawter also helped create the Delaware County YMCA Indian Guides, Trailblazer, and Indian Princess parent-youth programs.
"He was compassionate, always helping others out," his son said. "He was a really good speaker, but not like a social butterfly. He was a religious person who lived his faith."
Besides his son, he is survived by another son, Jared; two daughters, Maryfrances and Amanda; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and a companion, Jane Moses.
His wife died in 1996 at age 51. A brother and sister also died earlier.
A visitation from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Vraim Funeral Home, 66 S. State Rd., Upper Darby, will be followed by a 1 p.m. Funeral Mass at St. Frances de Sales Catholic Church, 35 New Rd., Aston. Mr. Slawter asked that the event be cheerful, and that celebrants wear brightly colored clothing.
Burial is private.