Cover photo for Vincent P. Slatt's Obituary
Vincent P. Slatt Profile Photo
1919 Vincent 2019

Vincent P. Slatt

July 19, 1919 — March 9, 2019

SLATT, Vincent P. Vincent P. Slatt died Saturday, March 9, 2019 at his home in South Hill Village (formerly Brookdale South Regal) in Spokane, Washington. He was born to Katherine Krizinic and Andrew Slatt July 19, 1919. He was preceded in death by his birth family which included his parents, two brothers, Charles and Andrew and one sister, Elizabeth. Vince was born in Butte Montana, where he was graduated from Sacred Heart Grade School and The Christian Brothers High School. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1942. As an Ensign in the US Naval Reserve he earned credits in Diesel Engineering at Cornell University. He passed the licensing examination to become a Licensed Professional Engineer in 1954. Upon graduating from Notre Dame, Slatt worked as an Inspection Engineer for the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company for a brief period before accepting a commission in the US Naval Reserve during World War II. He was honorably discharged as a LT.JG in March 1946 and he and his wife, Peggy, established their home in Spokane. Slatt worked one year "learning the trade" in a motor and transformer repair shop. For two years he served as a Systems Engineer for an electric consulting firm engaged in rural electric cooperative engineering in the Pacific Northwest. He joined Inland Power & Light Company, a rural electric cooperative with headquarters in Spokane, Washington and served Inland as an electrical engineer for seven years and as chief engineer for three years. In 1959, the Board of Trustees named him manager of the cooperative. Under his leadership, Inland grew to serve rural areas from the Canadian border almost to the Oregon border, with 21,000 member accounts and 5300 miles of electric line, which, if straightened out, would reach from Spokane, to Paris, France. Slatt retired from Inland, January 6, 1986 and for six years following retirement served as a technical advisor to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Administration Management Services, located in Washington D.C. During that same period, he also partnered with renowned business consultant Peter Drucker, who worked with Slatt to improve the effectiveness of electric cooperatives. An electrical engineer, Slatt was also a Licensed Professional Engineer, a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a member of the Washington State Professional Engineers Society. Slatt was given the Notre Dame Man of the Year Award for the Inland Empire in 1953 and in 1960 was recognized by Notre Dame as a Spotlight Alumnus. The Northwest Public Power Association gave him the Milton Hunt Maguire Award for Engineering Achievements in 1954. The Spokane section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers named him Engineer of the Year in 1967. When the rural electric cooperatives were threatened with loss of funding, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association named a long range planning committee. Slatt became chairman of the committee's finance subcommittee, which was charged with finding supplemental funds. Subsequently, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) was formed. Slatt was among those who signed the articles of incorporation in March 1969. He served on the first appointed board of directors from its incorporation in 1969 until 1971; became president of the CFC Board in 1970, became a member of the first elected board from 1971 to 1977, (the maximum term allowed under the CFC By Laws) and was elected President of the Board for the duration of his term as Director. Slatt served six years on the Board of Directors of the Federated Rural Electric Insurance Corporation, the NRECA Management Advisory Committee, NRECA Research and Development Committee. He served as the first chairman of the Telecommunications "Satellite" Committee (now the National Rural Telecommunications Corporation). He was also chairman of the Engineering and Operations Section of the Northwest Public Power Association. Slatt organized and established the Northwest Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the first rural electric member employee Credit Union in the United States and the first assistance program in the Northwest to help consumers pay electric bills. This is known as the Mutual Assistance Program. Slatt was past county chairman of Employ the Physically Handicapped, as well as past area and district governor of Toastmasters International. He was active in United Way, Boy Scouts, Spokane Junior Livestock Organization and a former board member, president and trustee for the Spokane Music and Allied Arts Festival, which promotes cultural development for talented young people in the Pacific Northwest. As a parishioner at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, Slatt was a volunteer delivering food to area residents for the St. Vincent DePaul Society. He became known as St. Vinnie to those he served. He was also a docent at the Cathedral giving tours explaining the history of the Cathedral and the chronological history of Christianity depicted in the stained glass windows. In 2001 he created the official Tour Guide book for use by all docents. He was active in Rotary and is a member of the Elks. He served on the Bishops Diocesan Finance Committee and the Engineering and Development Committee of Gonzaga University. Two awards mean the most to Slatt: one came from the Board of Trustees after 30 years at Inland and one came from the employees of Inland at their 10th Annual Safety Banquet. Slatt continued to collect awards and in 1996 at age 76 Slatt began walking the annual Bloomsday Race in Spokane. He won medals in his age group each year 2010 through 2013 and again 2017. No recognition made him prouder than giving a speech and dancing with his granddaughter, Stephanie, at her wedding when he was 99. Surviving are his five children, Philip (Elizabeth), Mary, Stephen (Barbara), Deborah and Christopher (Jeanine); 11 grandchildren, BethAnn, Mary Irene, Vincent, Andrew, Victoria, Edward, Rachel, Patrick, Carolyn, Danielle, Stephanie, and 7 great-grandchildren, Sahale, Leo, William, Libby, Maxwell, Maggie and Ruby. The Vigil service will be held at Riplinger Funeral Home, 4305 N. Division on Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 330 E. Boone Ave. on Thursday, March 14 at 10:00 a.m. Reception to follow immediately in O'Malley Hall at the church. Rite of Committal will be at Holy Cross Cemetery at 12:30 p.m.
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