Gay Marie Slaterbeck

1946 ~ 2022 (age 75)


Gay Marie Slaterbeck 

Gay was born in Shenandoah, PA in 1946, as the first child of Anthony and Gabrielle.  Her father, having been raised by a single mom, believed both his daughters could do anything.  Gay took this to heart and even as an adult would say she would have preferred drafting to home economics (drafting class was boys only).  

She was a brilliant student.  Upon graduating high school, she received a full academic scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania.  She earned her undergraduate degree in Art History and Political Science and went on to complete her master’s in Political Science at Villanova. Education would always be important to her.

She was an innovative and hard worker, who loved solving problems.  After graduating she rose through the ranks of the Philadelphia School District starting as a computer card handler in the basement. She retired as the Director of Student information when she relocated with her family to Kansas.  Where she went on to consult at Sprint leading systemwide programs that touched all employees and customers.

She was an avid reader and coffee drinker.  Always willing to stop and get a coffee.  She once used her reading to help research a solution for her son's skin condition when he was young, spending hours poring over research journals.  She contrived a solution that the doctors successfully administered.  They excitedly submitted it as a new treatment for the condition.

She loved Art.  She loved to learn about it, look at it, talk about it and make it.  Gay was an enthusiastic art collector her whole life.  She chose to go back to school in her 50s to learn new art skills.  Artists loved to talk with her because she wanted to know their emotions and why they used the forms they did in their work. 

She had a unique ability to light up any room and tried her best to make everyone feel at ease.  She would spend hours listening to her children, friends and friends of her children trying to help them with their problems.  

She married her soul mate Jim Slaterbeck.   When her daughter asked, "why Dad" she simply stated, "he made me laugh".  Gay and Jim enjoyed traveling and traversed Europe eating, picnicking, and sightseeing.  Their must frequent trips were skiing in Colorado and Vermont or getaways to San Francisco. 

She loved to see places.  And could sit for hours watching the ocean, hiking in the woods or simply people watching.  

Their domestic travels continued when her daughter Lauren and son Brett were born.  Together they enjoyed many, many family adventures.  One of her favorite places was the old Ice Cream Parlor at the Smithsonian American History building, where she always ordered a chocolate soda with chocolate ice cream.

She was a loving, cheerleader, Mom who invested in her kids and grandkids.  Her mantra of "You got this, babe..." she often used to push her kids forward.  Gay was her kid's number one supporter throughout their entire lives and spent endless hours trying to help each of them. In the last years of her life Gay enjoyed time with family the most and would want daily updates on what was going for each of them. 

True to her belief that she could do anything.  She surpassed all doctor’s life expectations by nearly two years. And despite her illness tried to speak, give love, and help guide her family in her final days.

She was an amazing warrior, friend, wife, mother, and grandmother.  She will be missed every day. She passed away February 14, 2022 surrounded by loved ones.  She is survived by her husband James, children Lauren (Alex) and Brett, grandchildren Arabella and Dante.

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