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Citywide News

Posted on: August 18, 2023

UPDATED: Councilman Ira Slaven passes away at 81


Ira Slaven – former Taylor Fire Department inspector, Air Force veteran and grand master of the Masons – passed away on Thursday, August 17. The city councilman had been battling failing health for a lengthy period of time.

Mr. Slaven, 81, was elected to council in November 2021. He was born in 1942 on Mary Street, educated in Taylor Schools and graduated from the old Taylor Center High School, living his entire life in the community. 

Judge Joseph Slaven, one of his sons, sits on the 23rd District Court in Taylor.

“He was my mentor, my sounding board, a compass to keep me focused and always on my right path,” Judge Slaven posted on social media. “He taught me so many important things that have forever shaped my life.”

Mayor Tim Woolley remembered Mr. Slaven all the way back to his childhood.

 “I spoke with Ira on the telephone on Tuesday and we had a nice conversation,” Mayor Tim Woolley said. “We knew that might be the last time we spoke. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do so. I knew Ira since I was 7.  Doug Geiss, Joe Slaven and I all played Little League together when Ira was involved with Taylor Northwest. I’ll always treasure his friendship.”

Retired from the Taylor Fire Department as a fire inspector, Mr. Slaven was a member of Local 1252 International Association of Fire Fighters.

“Councilman Slaven called Taylor home his entire life,” City Council Chairman Doug Geiss said. “He always had the best interest of Taylor in mind, advocated on behalf of our citizens and fought for what is right.”

Mr. Slaven served in the U.S. Air Force. While on active duty in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, he joined Bethel Masonic Lodge in Sault Saint Marie, and upon being honorably discharged, transferred to Taylor’s Golden Ark Masonic Lodge, where he has been active for many years. 

He has also been extremely active in many other charitable organizations. During his tenure on the fire department he was involved in Goodfellows. He was also an active member of the Taylor Metropolitan Club, which had a loan closet for crutches, wheel chairs, hospital beds and many other items, all free of charge to residents.  The Metropolitan Club was an organization made up of firemen, policemen, postal workers and school employees.  

Other things of note include that Mr. Slaven was CEO of the Grand Lodge of Michigan 2007-08; Presiding officer, Scottish Rite Masons; Awarded 33rd degree in Masonry (2005); Member of the Shriners for over 50 years; Past president of Park Shrine Club and charter member of Taylor Shrine Club; Presiding officer Nankin Chapter Order of Eastern Star; Taylor Northwest Little League coach, board member and treasurer; and active in Taylor High School Food Pantry

Mr. Slaven is survived by his wife Gayle; five children Joseph, Judith, Joanna, Jayson and Jessica; eight grandchildren; and a great grandchild.

There will be visitation on Monday from 1 - 8 p.m. and Tuesday from 2 - 8 p.m. at the Voran Funeral home at 23750 Goddard, Taylor. There will be an Eastern Star service at 6 p.m. on Tuesday immediately followed by a Masonic Service. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Gilead Baptist Church, 12501 Telegraph.

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