Valdosta Daily Times

December 29, 2012

Martha Elizabeth Oglesby Slater


The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — Martha Elizabeth Oglesby Slater

1923 – 2012

Martha Elizabeth Oglesby Slater, a native of Quitman and one-time resident of Valdosta, died in Virginia at the Inova Alexandria Hospital on December 5 of complications from a stroke and respiratory failure. She was 89.

She was the daughter of the late James Wood Oglesby Jr. and Juanita Elizabeth Bullard Oglesby, both of whom were prominent citizens of Quitman.  Her sister, Katherine Oglesby Mixson, a noted sponsor of the arts in Valdosta, preceded her in death in 2010.

Mrs. Slater was born and raised in Quitman and later attended Montreat and Brenau colleges.  As a young woman during World War II, she moved to New York City to study modeling and acting.  She met her future husband there, Navy Lt. Norman Traverse Slater, who, after the war, was ordained an Episcopal minister.  They subsequently lived in Virginia and Washington, D.C.  Years later she lived in London, England before returning to Virginia.

She was an accomplished pianist and poet, whose works were included in a number of publications, including a collection of her poetry, Apologia to an Angel.

Mrs. Slater’s ancestors were early settlers in America and she was a longtime member of hereditary organizations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Order of the First Families of Virginia and the Society of the Friends of St. George's and Descendants of the Knights of the Garter.  Her grandfather was instrumental in the early growth of Quitman and a proud contributor to the early successes of the area.

She was the beloved mother of three children, the youngest of whom, her son Dr. N. Traverse Slater, an acclaimed neuroscientist and professor at Northwestern University, died suddenly in 2001.  She is survived by her two daughters and their husbands, Katherine Ann and Louis Danzico of Dunmore, PA, and Elizabeth Oglesby and James Nicolson of Alexandria, VA; eight grandchildren: Elizabeth, Mark, Katherine and Matthew Danzico; James and Thomas Nicolson; and Simon and Adam Slater; and one great-grandchild.  She is also survived by two loved nieces, Juanita Mixson Cox of Valdosta and Katherine Mixson Campagna of St. George Island, FL; their husbands, the Rev. James Cox and James Campagna, and numerous grandnieces and grandnephews.

A private funeral service will be held in late January in Quitman, followed by burial there in the Oglesby plot at Oak Hill Cemetery.