An Ordinary Man - An Extraordinary Legacy

In a written tribute, Linda Hornung describes her uncle, Melvin Sloat, as an everyday man with a big heart. “Mel was one of 11 children born to a farm family that raised average good kids. He was taught to work hard, to be self-sufficient, to help others, to live a good life. And he did, without thinking much about it. It was just how he lived,” Linda says.

After Melvin passed away, his will revealed what his family and friends knew so well—Melvin’s down-to-earth kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity. Melvin left a gift to the future in his will, including a bequest to Sask Polytech to support future students in their career goals.

“Melvin believed in helping young people succeed,” Linda says. “He used his will to pass along his positive attitude toward the future, his zest for life and his willingness to work for things.”

Melvin understood that his legacy gift to Sask Polytech would have a lasting impact, not only on individual students but on Saskatchewan’s economic well-being and quality of life. Sask Polytech’s practical, hands-on approach to post-secondary education resonated with his practical nature.

Born in 1927 and raised on the farm, Melvin spent almost all his working life at the STC bus garage in Regina. He was married to Claire Remacle for over 60 years. Although they did not have children of their own, they enjoyed regaling nieces and nephews with stories about their camping, hunting and fishing adventures. There was the time a bear reached a paw through the camper window or the time they watched a mother fox raise a litter of playful cubs. Even Melvin’s ongoing rivalry with his neighbour to grow the season’s biggest potato became a popular part of family lore.

Melvin and Claire were fundamentally prairie people. They bought only what they could afford. Their house was just the right size for them, their camper was homey but not large, and their boat and motorcycle were fun but not flashy. “They weren’t wealthy but shared what they had,” Linda says.

This connection to community inspired Melvin’s legacy gift to Sask Polytech. Legacy makers like Melvin often choose a bequest by will because they understand life’s challenges and want to do something to help future generations. Melvin wanted his legacy to help young people get the education they needed to build a successful career. His gift reflects the values he embraced in life, while empowering future generations.

“Melvin was a very special everyday man, who was loved dearly by everyone he met,” Linda says. “His legacy is not only the help he gave others, but also what a helping hand, a smile, a belief in others and a positive attitude can do to build a better world.”


Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves students through applied learning opportunities on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 Territories and the homeland of the Métis.