In memory of

Kenneth "Ken/Kenny" Alan Slack

Dec 30, 1954
Sep 7, 2022

Obituary

Kenneth Alan Slack, 67, a longtime resident of Salem, Oregon transitioned on September 7, 2022, after a series lengthy illnesses. He was a man of many titles; son, brother, uncle, friend, teacher, union steward, mentor, but during his time in Salem-Keizer Public Schools he was best known as Coach Slack. 

Born in Los Angeles, CA Kenneth Slack was a “military brat” as he lived and traveled to many places across the world with his family Walker and Betty Slack, and two younger siblings Kevin and Eva Slack.  

After a successful High School Football stint in El Paso, Texas he transferred to his beloved Leilehua High School in Wahiawa, HI where he graduated. After graduation he traveled to Willamette University in Salem, OR where he went on to play football, build lifelong fraternal connections, and pursue a bachelor’s degree.  

A devout Catholic, he went on to teach at Central Catholic High School in Portland, OR, but his heart eventually led him back to Salem, OR to begin his career with the Salem-Keizer School District. Ken Slack went on to teach and coach at North Salem High School for the remainder of his teaching career. 

As mentioned in Mark Gilman’s article, North Salem High Schools head coach Jeff Flood stated, “For Kenny, North Salem High was family, and North football was family,”which encompasses how proud he was to be at service to the Vikings in all capacities whether it was in person or virtually from a hospital bed up until his passing.  

Ken’s hobbies were primarily sports related, such as playing golf and watching/ attending sports events. He also enjoyed traveling as a union representative, coach, and for leisure. 

He is survived by his aunt Charlie Mae Slack of Milton, FL, brother Kevin (Pamela) Slack of Spanaway, WA, sister Eva (Charles) Slack- Lewis of Lacey, WA. Nieces and nephews Charles Lewis Jr, Christopher (Kylee) Lewis, Kiana Norman Slack, Kaylin Norman Slack, Eugene Norman Slack, and Alesia Slack; great nieces and nephews Christopher Lewis Jr. Ariya Lewis, Everly Lewis, and Kyrie Lewis. 

Kenneth is preceded in death by his brother Richard Slack; mother Betty Slack; father Walker Slack; and brother-in-law Charles Lewis Sr.

Ken’s passing is a great loss as he was a mentor to everyone he met. He will be greatly missed by many including his family, former colleagues, prior students, and friends which he considered family.   

Ken’s family will have a memorial service on September 30, 2022 at 4:00 pm at the Cone Chapel on Willamette University’s campus located at 900 State Street Salem, OR 97301. 

Service Information

Celebration of Life
September 30, 2022 at 4:00 pm
Cone Chapel
Willamette University’s campus
900 State Street Salem, OR 97301. 

Messages of Sympathy

  1. Matt Tellado says:

    Mr Slack was a great presence during my time at Central Catholic especially on the football field.
    Rest In Peace Coach and God Bless you.

  2. Matt Tellado says:

    Mr Slack was a great presence during my time at Central Catholic especially on the football field.
    Rest In Peace Coach
    Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him

  3. Leisa Hart says:

    Rest in love coach Slack! You were appreciated and adored by many. Thank you for putting up with me in Science class. Prayers to the family❤️❣️

  4. Tina Mivshek says:

    So sorry to hear of his passing and for Mr. Slack’s family. He was my basketball coach at Central Catholic. He was an amazing coach. He had such a great sense of humor. He had his nicknames for us (mine was Smurfette) put on practice jerseys so when we came out to warm up we wore the jerseys. Mr. Slack was a great coach, teacher and mentor.

  5. John Grimsbo says:

    Rest in peace, Coach. From 84' to 87'... Some of my best memories from Central Catholic.

  6. John Grimsbo says:

    Rest in peace, Coach. From 84' to 87'... Some of my best memories.

  7. Greg Pashley says:

    Mr. Slack (as I knew him) was my World History teacher at Central Catholic in 1984. Such a kind and patient teacher with an ease and humor about him that made an impression on me as a kid. He encouraged me to try out for football-although I never did, but I watched as he coached many of my friends who loved him as a coach and teacher. I’ve thought of him so many times over the years for the contribution he made to my high school experience and life in general. All his close friends and family remain in my prayers.
    And of course - so does Mr. Slack. God bless you. May eternal light shine on him and may his soul Rest In Peace.

  8. Joe Cho says:

    Kenny was a teammate, a colleague in teaching and in coaching.
    But the biggest thing for me was his friendship.
    We often talked after school at North Salem in his classroom about everything and anything.
    We continued that talking even after I left North Salem and took a teaching and coaching position in Hawaii.
    As his retirement came upon him because his declining health he often told me he did miss teaching and of course miss the physical coaching but still found ways to stay connected.
    He is a great friend and the good lord got a great person with his going home to the lord.
    The Slack Family lost a great human being and my condolences go out to all of you.
    But knowing Coach (as I called him) he would want all of us to continue to live our lives to the fullest and as he often told me.
    Take some time during the day to Smile and laugh.
    Aloha,
    Joe Cho

  9. Danielle (Johnson) Hamm says:

    Coach Slack was Ana amazing person in my life. I met him my freshman year at North Salem High School when picked me for the JV softball Team. I had the pleasure of being coached by him for 2 years but mentored beyond on that. I even got to coach with him for 2 years post graduation. He was funny, honest, kind, and so full of wisdom beyond his years. I will never forget him and wish nothing but peace for him now. All my sympathy to his family who has lost an amazing family member.

  10. Staff of Johnson Funeral Home says:

    Thank you for trusting Johnson Funeral Home.

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