James "Nick" Sloan '20 July 24, 2023 1:00 PM updated: July 24, 2023 1:08 PM
James Nicholas "Nick" Sloan
March 19, 1977 - June 24, 2023
James Nicholas Sloan "Nick" passed away surrounded by his family and joined his Heavenly Father at the age of 46 on June 24, 2023 in Dallas, Texas.
Nick battled ALS for 1,017 days and will be remembered for his passionate advocacy for veterans, raw vulnerability about his ALS journey, and his example of personal strength.
Nick was born in Dallas, Texas on March 19, 1977. He attended North Mesquite High School and graduated in 1995. It was at North Mesquite at the age of 14 that he met Shanda Newsome, his high school sweetheart and love of his life.
After high school, Nick enlisted in the United States Marines, where he courageously served his country as a Sergeant from 1997-2002. During his service, he deployed to Japan and also Guantanamo Bay after 9/11.
Upon his return from deployment, he married his long-time sweetheart, Shanda. The two created a beautiful life together and shared a truly special love - a rare, unwavering love that was centered around their shared love of their Savior.
Together, they raised four beautiful children: Jackson, Katelynn, Megan and Lauren who Nick fiercely loved. Nick was a dedicated father who was deeply committed to his children, from attending their many games and events to quietly comforting when needed.
Nick was a leader and protector by nature - whether safeguarding his country, his workplace, his community or his beloved family.
After his military service, Nick then went on to carry out similar goals in his chosen career path of Emergency Management. His career included work as: Director of Emergency Management for Baylor Scott & White; in the City of Dallas' Emergency Management Office; and in a position that was shared between the Dallas Fire and Rescue Department and Dallas Police Special Operations as the Homeland Security Coordinator.
Nick's expertise in the areas of security, public safety and emergency planning helped shape and improve safety policies not only for his profession, but also as a service to his local community and beyond.
While Nick worked to support the family he loved so much, he obtained three college degrees. In 2005, he graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelors in Emergency Administration and Planning. He also earned two masters degrees; an MBA from Baylor University in 2017 and a Masters in Public Service and Administration in 2020 from Texas A&M University.
Nick also worked as an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Texas for the Emergency Management and Disaster Science Department, where he taught on Public Health and Disasters.
Nick was a life-long athlete playing soccer from childhood into college and then transferring this love to playing rugby for the All-Marine Corps Team, All-Armed Forces Team, and the Dallas Rugby Football Club. Dallas Rugby Football Club created the "Nick Sloan Attack Life Award" in his honor, given to a player each year who demonstrates courage and perseverance in the face of extreme adversity.
He received many awards throughout his years of employment with Baylor Scott and White Health Care System, including his prestigious induction into the Texas Division of Emergency Management Hall of Fame.
Even prior to Nick's ALS diagnosis, he volunteered his time among several non-profit organization benefiting Veterans of the Armed Forces and the first responder community, including: Carry the Load, Adaptive Training Foundation, Sons of the Flag Burn Foundation, and 22 Kill which raises awareness and support around the 22 veterans that commit suicide every day.
Nick also served on several teams, committees and boards - all a testament to his desire to serve and improve his community. However, it was his passionate advocacy for veterans that would help inspire what would eventually become his legacy - #AttackLifeSloan
When Nick was diagnosed with ALS, he learned that veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS than an individual who has not served in the military. That statistic lead him to create the #AttackLifeFoundation, which supports the Sloan family and their fight to create awareness of the correlation between ALS and veterans.
Nick is survived by his soulmate and wife, Shanda Newsome Sloan, to whom he was married for over 20 years. He is also survived by his beautiful children: Jackson, Katelynn, Megan, and Lauren. His mother Catherine Mavroulis Sloan and father John David Sloan also survive him, along with his sister Kristen Sloan Olivas and her husband Hector Olivas-Chavez and Nick's nephew and namesake, Nicholas Daniel Olivas. Nick is also survived by his in-laws: Janis Cherry Newsome, Shawn and Jami Newsome, Shaynor and Heather Newsome, Shaira Newsome Starnes, Shaelyn Dawn Newsome and many cherished nieces and nephews: Lydia and Naomi Newsome, Jonathan and Violet Newsome, Kelton, Cason, Cambelle, Karis, and Kinsley Starnes.