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Chester Slaughter

January 25, 1943 December 23, 2018
Chester Slaughter
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Obituary for Chester Slaughter

Chester Slaughter
January 25, 1943 - December 23, 2018

Chester Slaughter was born on January 25, 1943 to Freida Williams in Chicago, Illinois. As an only child to a single mother, Chester was raised on the Southside of Chicago and persevered to become a successful product of the Chicago Public School system. He attended William Shakespeare Elementary and then Hyde Park High School, where he excelled as an exceptional student and a standout two sport athlete in football and track. After graduating from high school in 1961, Chester went to Tennessee State University (TSU) to pursue an undergraduate degree in Political Science and History.

During his collegiate experience, Chester joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated by way of the Beta Omicron Chapter in the Spring of 1963. He would go on to graduate from TSU in 1965. Inspired by the civil rights movement and determined to make a difference in the lives of African Americans, Chester choose to further his education at Howard University School of Law in Washington D.C. where he participated in the Howard Law Journal and would earn his Juris Doctorate in 1968.

Chester met the love of his life, Ruth Willis, in Washington D.C. while he was in law school and she was an undergraduate at Freeman Hospital School of Nursing. After meeting at a social event, they began dating and quickly fell in love. They would get married and move to the Brainerd Park Neighborhood of Chicago to begin their family. Later born upon their union was Craig and Justin Slaughter. Chester loved his boys dearly and worked tirelessly to ensure that they had the best education, social network, morals, values, and resources to later become successful men. Easily his greatest accomplishment, Chester and Ruth were married for 49 years. Committed to each other forever, Ruth remained by Chester’s side as his primary caregiver during his illness.

In addition to being a loving husband and father, Chester was a devoted member of Saint Edmund Episcopal Church. Having been confirmed in Christ at an early age, Chester spent the majority of his life participating in church activities and programs. He was always active in the Men’s Club and would later become a board member of the Saint Edmund’s Redevelopment Corporation, where he was instrumental in helping the organization provide quality affordable housing in the Washington Park neighborhood.

Chester will forever be remembered for his distinguished and remarkable 46-year career as a successful attorney, legal expert, community advocate, political advisor, and mentor. Chester’s achievements as an outstanding criminal defense attorney made him a trailblazer within the legal community as his invaluable talent would serve as a vital cornerstone to notable law firms such as: Howard, Mann, & Slaughter, Smith & Sumner, Lyle & Slaughter, and Chester Slaughter& Associates. Known as a fierce competitor in the courtroom, Chester had a reputation for being exceptionally knowledgeable about the law and always aggressively fought for his clients to receive their due process.

Chester’s unique legal experiences made him influential amongst his peers as he won cases throughout the Midwest while being admitted to practice in seven jurisdictions. His diverse career also included working within the government and public sectors, as he once served in a supervisory role as a Cook County Assistant State's Attorney, as well as General Counsel for Maywood Park District, and a hearing officer for the Cook County Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

Always politically conscious, Chester will also be remembered as a dynamic social justice advocate that believed in justice and empowerment for African Americans. His passionate efforts to support and protect the rights of the black community fueled his involvement with the Cook County Bar Association, where he served as past President. Constantly focused on the career development of aspiring young minority lawyers, Chester utilized his leadership post at the Cook County Bar Association to launch the organization’s first job fairs. His dedication as a champion for equality and fairness was also evident as a long-standing board member for the John Howard Association, where he actively spearheaded initiatives to protect the rights of women prisoners.

Regarded as a legend in his field, Chester will be missed as a mentor and trusted confidant. Recognized as a selfless seasoned advisor, Chester always enjoyed passing along knowledge to others. Chester took great pride in being a significant influential figure in the careers of many successful lawyers and judges. Towards the later years in his career, Chester’s spirit of mentorship was prominent as an adjunct professor and lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School and Northwestern University School of Law.

Outside of the legal arena, Chester loved being active in the community through his involvement in several impactful organizations. Chester was a stalwart supporter of the 6th and 21st Ward Democratic organizations, where he enjoyed working on local political campaigns. Chester also cherished the brotherhood of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. As a life member of the fraternity, Chester was active in the Xi Lambda Alumni Chapter, as well as with the Beta Omicron Alumni Association, where he was instrumental in establishing their student scholarship initiative. Chester was also active with the Chicago Assembly and the Tennessee State University Alumni Association.

Those close to Chester, will undoubtedly remember him as a sports enthusiast. He was a member of the Chicago Snow Gophers organization and a competitive skier. Chester was also a pioneering figure and founding parent to start the Chicago South Swim Club, where his two sons swam throughout their childhood. His involvement with youth swimming also included being a United States Swimming Association Official. An avid basketball fanatic, Chester enjoyed traveling around the country watching his two sons play basketball at the collegiate level.

Chester loved to cook, introducing his family to many homemade cuisines from around the world and took pride in being the family grillmaster. Lastly, Chester had a passion for high quality professional men’s clothing and was always well dressed!

Chester will be remembered as an extraordinarily warm and gentle spirit; extremely patient, caring, loving and compassionate. His greatest priority was always his family. Chester leaves to cherish his devoted wife Ruth M.(Willis) Slaughter, two loving son’s Craig (Jennifer Eckert), and Justin (Catrena) Slaughter, mother Freida Williams and grandson Russell Slaughter; his brothers-in-law John W. (Bertha) Willis Jr, Victor Willis, and Leroy (Robin) Willis Sr; sisters-in-law Patricia Willis, and Thelma Green; his aunts Louise Cornelius and Joan Price. Chester is preceded in death by his mother and father-in-law Inez Willis and John W. Willis; aunts Corine Slaughter, and Earline Shelby; uncles George Slaughter Jr., and Theodore Slaughter. Chester also leaves a host of cousins, great- nieces, nephews, many friends and his beloved grand dog Ace Slaughter.


Friday, January 4, 2018
Time: 3:00 - 7:00 pm
Brookins Funeral Home

Saturday, January 5, 2018
Time: 9:00 - 9:30 am

Saturday, January 5, 2018
Time: 9:30 - 10:00 am

Saturday, January 5, 2018
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 am

Saturday, January 5, 2018
Time: 11:00 - 12:00 pm

Saint Edmunds Episcopal Church
6105 S. Michigan
Chicago IL 60637

Oak Woods Cemetery
1035 E. 67th Street
Chicago IL 60637

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Chester Slaughter, please visit our Tribute Store.


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