George Greer Sloan, 99, of Albuquerque, NM, passed away March 15, 2023, after recently spending time with many family members. He was born to Polly and George Sloan on June 12, 1923, in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. From his own record, he described his childhood as “nearly always deliriously happy.” He learned to love the river that ran through town, with all that it had to offer in swimming and fishing. He learned to shoot a rifle and hunt from an early age, killing his first buck when 10 years old. Since families in those days (in remote areas of Mexico) had to produce their own major food supplies, including milk, milk products, meat, and vegetables, many hours were spent milking cows, working in the garden, and processing fruits and vegetables. As he grew older, his duties evolved into working long hours on surrounding farms and ranches. In high school, he enjoyed participating in organized sports, such as baseball, track, tennis, or basketball, as well as in school leadership positions.
He graduated from High School in 1941 and went to work in Arizona, receiving some vocational training and trying his hand at different occupations. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps, in January 1943, leaving Phoenix, Arizona for the San Diego Training Center. After 3 months of rugged training in San Diego, he was shipped to Melbourne, Australia, where he joined with the First Marine Division, 5th Regiment, 3rd Battalion, L Company, 3rd Platoon. Training continued in New Guinea, and then he participated in hard-fought campaigns on the islands of New Britain, Peleliu, and Okinawa. He received the purple heart and the bronze start for bravery. He was released from active duty with an honorable discharge at Camp Pendleton in November 1945.
After the war, he sailed to Argentina in January 1947 to serve as a Spanish-speaking missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served there for almost 3 years, returning to marry Norma D. Willis on January 4, 1950, in the Mesa-Arizona temple, after a whirlwind courtship of only 2 months. He subsequently enrolled at Arizona State, majoring in chemistry and Spanish, supporting himself with a variety of part-time jobs. He graduated after 3 years and taught high school in Mesa, Arizona, for a year, but then transitioned to the uranium ore processing industry, working first in Monticello, UT, and then Denver, CO, and finally Grants, NM, where he was employed as chief chemist, and eventually as chief metallurgist, with Kerr-McGee Corporation.
He and his wife, Norma, were the parents of five children, four boys and one girl. George was a wonderful role model for them. He loved his family very much and did much to ensure that his children worked hard and studied hard from an early age, that they had opportunities to participate in athletic activities, and that they were able to receive a good education. He frequently counseled with his family and taught his children, along with his wife, to love and follow the Savior, Jesus Christ. His children could feel of his great love for the Savior and His gospel. When his children think about him, they think about “Grandpa’s breakfast,” his numerous war stories, and him bursting into wake-up songs with loud expressions of “¡Viva mi tierra!” Driving home in the evening, he would burst into song with his wife, singing “Harvest Moon,” or “Tumbling Tumbleweed.” He was always cheerful and optimistic. He loved playing tennis, going up into the mountains and gathering firewood, growing tomatoes, going deer hunting, and fishing in Colorado. He was a very good cook, both at home and around the campfire. He loved to cook with his wife, and they often laughed and joked as they tried to perfect each other’s recipes. He was very involved with his family, and his family gatherings and vacations were always an example of love and selfless sacrifice, the creation of a lifetime of good memories.
He was very active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout his life, and held numerous church positions, which included serving in various Bishoprics and Stake Presidencies in Grants, Albuquerque, and Gallup. After he retired from Kerr-McGee, he and his wife served several missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Mexico City Temple, Dominican Republic, Puebla-Mexico (as Mission President), Atlanta-GA Temple, Lima-Peru Temple, and finally the Albuquerque-NM Temple.
He is survived by his children — Daniel Sloan (wife Amy) of Oak Ridge, TN; David Sloan (wife Trisha), presently serving as missionaries in the UK; Irene Jones (husband Eddie) of Colonia Dublan, Mexico; George R. Sloan (wife Gina) of Corvallis, MT, and Lynn Sloan (wife Betty), of Albuquerque, NM; as well as 23 grandchildren, and 60 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife Norma, and he has one surviving sibling, Ruth Palmer, of St. George, UT.
A Visitation will be held at 9:00 a.m. with a Funeral Service to follow at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, March 27, 2023, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 4109 Eubank Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111. Interment and a brief Graveside Service will be held the same day at 2:30 p.m. at Santa Fe National Cemetery, 501 N Guadalupe St., Santa Fe, NM 87501.