Thomas A. Slavens, chairman of Local Draft Board 1 of this city, former member of the School Committee, and president of the People's Credit Union since 1922, died of a heart attack shortly afler 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon.
According to information from the police department, he was stricken on a Jitney bus while on his way home. He was dead on arrival at the hospital, authorities said.
Mr. Slavens was born in Urbana, Mo., September 4, 1889, and was educated in the Scarrlt-Morrisville, Mo., schools. He came to Newport as a young man to work at the Torpedo Station. Always interested in labor organizations and the improvement of the status of workers, he was active in organizing and was executive secretary of the People's League and the Social Security League of Rhode Island, which were among the pioneers in sponsoring old age pensions and unemployment insurance. He assisted in organizing the local Credit Union and had been active in its administration and growth and has also headed the Credit Union organization of the state.
He served one term on the School Committee, declining reelection because of his health. He was a member of the Civic Employment Association and assisted in the development of Freebody Park. In addition he held numerous offices in the Machinists Lodge and frequently represented labor groups at state and national conventions and as an intermediary in conferences with the Navy Department.
Besides his wife he leaves a daughter, Mrs. William Denson, two sons, Thomas I. Slavens, a chief petty officer in the navy now on convoy duty, and James Slavens.
Newport (Rhode Island) Mercury and Weekly News, July 27, 1945.