David Sliker, known to family and friends as “Pop” passed away on Tuesday, March 10th at the age of 95 years.
Pop was born on May 12, 1924 in Califon, New Jersey to Austin and Lillian Sliker. When Pop’s dad passed away, Pop quit school to stay home and help with the nine other siblings and work on the family farm. When he turned 19, Pop joined the Army and served in WWII in France and Germany. While in Germany, he was hit in the leg with shrapnel from a German 88m shell and was honorably discharged with a Purple Heart. During his recovery, there have been stories of a ‘cute nurse with red hair’ who helped with Pop’s medical care while he was on the ship returning to the States. We have yet to confirm if this red-haired nurse really existed or if it was just a story to tease his wife.
Real or not, the cute nurse was no comparison to Pop’s soul mate and love of his life, Louise Todd. They were married on August 4, 1945 in Hampton, NJ and lived in High Bridge, NJ. David and Louise had three daughters: Kathleen, Judy, and Rebecca. The girls kept him busy with hunting, fishing, Saturday rides to Stewart's Rootbeer Stand and dessert at Dairy Queen. Pop was an electrician by profession and worked over 30 years for the IBEW union. In 1979, Pop moved to Idaho with Louise and brought his grandson, Jeff, to live with them in Roswell, Idaho.
After retiring from the Union in 1988, Pop spent his free time outdoors. His vegetable garden was his ‘church’ and he grew vegetables of all kinds to give to family and friends. He had bushels of tomatoes that he would give to the Senior Center in Parma and would put pumpkins out along the fence every October for the folks to take for free. For years, Pop had a little Pug named ‘Puppy’ that followed him around the property. When he wasn’t in the garden, you would find Pop and Puppy in the back of the property feeding his chickens and collecting eggs. He claimed he was raising the chickens for the eggs, but the way he talked to the ‘girls’ was a give-away that he cared for them as pets.
Pop was also an avid outdoorsman and took many trips hunting and fishing with friends and family. Hunting rabbits and white-tail deer in New Jersey and pheasants and Mule Deer in Idaho were the subject of many stories Pop would tell his friends. Jeff and Pop would hunt every year together above Council, Idaho and the Owyhee mountains. One of the more recent excursions was to fill a moose tag in Swan Falls Idaho, which he did with Jeff and his other grandson, Jason. When he wasn’t hunting deer, elk, or moose, Pop would be fishing for trout at Sage Hen Reservoir. All who knew Pop could say that when they think of him, they recall him shirtless in his garden and his love for the outdoors.
After Louise passed away in 1995, Pop lived in the farmhouse in Roswell for several more years. In 2015, he sold the property and moved to a 55 & Older community in Nampa, Idaho. Even though Roswell was 35 miles from his new home, Pop was ‘set in his ways’ and would continue to drive to the country for his haircuts, his banking, and trips to the cemetery to visit Louise’s grave. He enjoyed watching old western movies, listening to classic country music on the radio, and watching his “story” aka Days of Our Lives, that he had watched with Louise for years and years when they lived in Roswell.
David is preceded in death by his parents, Austin and Lillian Sliker, 8 siblings, and his beloved wife, Louise Sliker. He is survived by his three daughters, Kathleen Bachman of Boise, ID, Judy Balcerzak of Boise, ID, Rebecca (Don) Markle of Asbury, NJ and his grandson whom he raised as a son, Jeffrey (Terri) Adams of Nampa, ID. In addition, he has three other grandsons, Jason (Elaine) Adams of Boise, ID; Chris (Sarah) Adams of Boise, ID, Jacob Balcerzak of Nampa, ID and three granddaughters, Rachel Verhage of Caldwell, ID, Jessica (Kurt) Meyers of Pittstown, NJ, and Megan Markle (Joss) Cairns, Queensland, Australia and ten great-grandchildren.
Pop was loved by everyone who knew him. He will be genuinely missed by everyone and memories of him and his infectious smile will be cherished by all.
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