William Tazwell Sledd III

SleddWilliam Tazwell Sledd III, 81, on July 6, 2017, in East Lansing, Mich. Bill was born on August 25, 1935, in Murray, Ky. He earned a doctorate in mathematics from University of Kentucky in 1961 and taught mathematics to appreciative students at Michigan State University. Traveling and living abroad in London and Paris for his sabbatical years, he returned to Paris several times and spoke French. He also hiked and fished in Alaska. Committed to keeping the environment clean, he liked to participate in the annual Red Cedar River clean-up, and when he lived in the country he regularly picked up trash along his road.

He sought the Divine in silent worship with Red Cedar Meeting in Lansing, Mich.; in the smiles of children; in the purr of adored cats; in a circle of friends and family; in the masterful unfolding of a mathematical theorem; and in the dynamic curvature of a fly-fishing line skillfully released into the morning mist.

In retirement he returned to playing chess at the local community center and with friends young and old. He also loved playing the harmonica, especially when he could join friends at his annual Kentucky Derby party to sing “My Old Kentucky Home.”
He enjoyed fishing, camping, canoeing, bird watching, baseball, and time with friends and family. He read widely and enjoyed Mark Twain, James Harrison, Eudora Welty, and other southern writers. One of his favorite adventures was rafting down the Grand Canyon with the Sierra Club. Bill was fun loving and soft spoken; a sparkle in his eyes often foreshadowed a dry southern wit.

Bill approached the end of his life with patience, courage, and a sense of humor as he faced Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by his companion, Judith Morrigan; his former wife, Margery Clark-Lewis; two daughters, Luanne Price (David) and Jane Sledd; four grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.


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