June 20, 1931 to March 24, 2023
James Benjamin Slusher was born to Benjamin Eaton Slusher and Alberta Louise Smith Slusher on the 20th day of June, 1931 in Lexington, Missouri. He attended the public schools there, graduating from Lexington High School in 1949 as the president of his senior class and as a member of the Junior-Senior Honor Society. Following an established family tradition, he then enrolled in the Junior College program at Wentworth Military Academy, graduating in 1951 with an Associate in Arts Degree and two years of R.O.T.C. military training. While there he was a trombonist and drum major in the marching band.
Thereafter he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Missouri at Columbia and his 2nd Lieutenant’s commission in the U.S. Artillery in 1953. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta social fraternity. After completion of one year of law school at the University, he served his country on active duty for two years, assigned to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, ultimately as a member of the 534th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, and was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant in June, 1956. He then returned to the University of Missouri to complete his legal education, receiving his Juris Doctorate in 1958.
Mr. Slusher commenced his practice as an Assistant Attorney General to John M. Dalton in Jefferson City. When General Dalton became Governor in 1961, Mr. Slusher moved to Kansas City, working as an attorney for the Vendo Company for two years and with the law firm of Gage, Hodges, Park and Kreamer for three years. In 1966 he joined the legal staff of Kansas City Life Insurance Company, and retired from there as an Associate General Counsel in 1991.
Soon after moving to Kansas City, he met and married his wife of 60 years, Betty Jean Campbell, and they had three children. Andrew Christopher Slusher (wife Laura, children Erin, Jonathan, Alex, William, Daniel), James Clinton Slusher (wife Heather, children Cole, Sophie) and Jean Elizabeth Slusher Svoren (husband David, children Michael, James, Megan). Mr. Slusher willingly gave of his time, serving on various boards of directors, including the Kansas City Philharmonic, Pioneer Trails Council of Girl Scouts, American Red Cross of Kansas City, the Better Business Bureau of K.C., Wentworth Military Academy Board of Trustees, Chi Mu Chapter of Phi Gamma Delta, The Citizens Association, the Kansas City Chamber Choir, and other non-profit organizations. He was a founding member of Huntington Investments II, a social and investment club. From 1945 until 1958 he was an amateur magician, a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and entertained in many communities in Missouri and Oklahoma. Throughout his life, Mr. Slusher maintained a passion for music, magic, travel, philanthropy, family and friends. He is often described by those who knew him as a thoughtful, caring man of the highest integrity who made a great difference in the lives of many.
He is survived by his wife, three children and spouses, and 10 grandchildren. A Celebration of Life open house will be held 6-8 pm on Friday, March 31, at John Knox Kirk Presbyterian Church. A graveside burial service for family members only will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, April 1, in Memorial Park Cemetery, Lexington, MO. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to John Knox Kirk Presbyterian Church, 11430 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114, or checks by mail payable to Slusher Cemetery Association, at 512 Haddington Ln., Peachtree City, GA 30269. The Slusher Cemetery Association oversees the historic Slusher family cemetery located in Lexington, MO.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Home, 1720 South Street, Lexington, MO 64067, 660-259-2245.