RUTLAND, Vt. — William Sluiter, formerly of Margaretville and Perch Lake, Andes, died on Dec. 22, 2012, at his home at The Meadows at East Mountain in Rutland, Vt.
Bill was born Oct. 9, 1922, in Platte, S.D., the youngest child of Janis and Jennie Sluiter, first generation Dutch immigrants. When Bill was 10 years old, in the middle of the Great Depression and the Midwest Dust Bowl, and with a bleak outlook for the family, "Pa" moved them to Delaware County, where they settled down as dairy farmers.
Bill graduated from A.L. Kellogg Central School in Treadwell, where he was both standout scholar and basketball star. He also had a crush on the school's cutest cheerleader, Margaret Barlow. At least he always said she was the cutest.
Bill attended Colgate University in Hamilton, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a major in English. He served his country in the U.S. Army (lieutenant) as an instructor of officer candidates at Fort Benning, Ga., and then in Germany with the Army of Occupation. He returned to Colgate from 1946 to 47, where he received a master’s degree in education.
On June 29, 1947, Bill married his high school sweetheart, Margaret Barlow, in Treadwell. He and Margaret both took teaching positions at Andes Central School, he in high school English and she in music. Even though his students thought he was a great teacher, Bill soon decided teaching was not for him.
In 1950, he went into the insurance agency business with Arthur S. Close in Margaretville, forming the company Close & Sluiter Inc. After the retirement of Art Close, Bill expanded the agency, first with the purchase of the E.M. Woolheater Agency in Andes, then the Bovina portion of the William Hoy Agency and finally the Willis Marks Agency in Margaretville. Bill was joined in business by his son, Doug in 1975 and son, Peter in 1984. The family business tradition continued when grandson, Matthew joined the agency in 1995.