Robert “Bob” Slater was born November 29, 1928 to parents John “Jack” and Louise “Vivian” Slater in Jackson Mississippi. He was blessed to be raised by Ava his “mom” after his mother died. He graduated from Jackson High School and went on to “Ole Miss” to graduate with a BA in Business Administration. While at Ole Miss, he was a member of Air Force ROTC and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity as well as many other activities. In his opinion, he was the last of the true “Southern Gentleman”.
After graduation, he worked in wholesale pharmaceuticals as did his father and two brothers. In 1952, the Air Force called, and he served in Korea. To hear him tell it, he won the war single handedly. After his service, he returned to McKesson and worked there until Marion Labs called in 1974. Bob loved working for “Mr. and Mrs. Kaufmann” and remained a fan throughout his life. He loved the people he worked with and never hesitated to set them straight on how to do it right. He won many prestigious awards from the retail and wholesale pharmaceutical industry while he was Director of Pharmacy and Trade Relations at Marion Merrell Dow USA. He loved every minute of it.
Bob’s family was very important to him and he loved holidays and especially birthdays with everyone gathered ‘round. Bob loved his and Ellie’s trips to Florida to spend time with the grandkids there. It was great when Colin was able to come to Kansas City for a week to spend with Bob and Ellie. He was especially proud of his great grandson Liam whose energy and smiles made him so very happy. He was looking forward to meeting Liam’s baby sister, currently named Baby Girl, but now he gets to meet her before we do.
He was smart, capable, and had a fantastic memory. He remembered names, dates and loved ones of family and friends. He made friends everywhere from the deli counter at Hen House to the pharmacists and workers at Walmart. He loved and was loved by his Leawood Houlihan’s family and was irritated that COVID kept him from visiting them. He was a people person who looked on the bright side of everything, even with dementia.
Bob was always in charge and right, even after being diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia. He never realized anything was wrong with him and thought the rest of us were going batty. Eric Wray at Alzheimer’s Association Heart of America chapter helped us begin to understand what Bob and the family would experience. Dr. Townley, Amy and Michelle at KU Memory Clinic helped us get the correct diagnosis and have been so kind and helpful to all of us. Dr. J. Chris Perryman was his doctor since 1974. Bob thought he could do no wrong, so we used “but Dr. Perryman told you to” as often as needed. We’d like to thank Dr. Joseph and Margaret, the social worker at St. Luke’s South for their tireless efforts to get Bob to Hospice House; they went above and beyond. The staff at KC Hospice House were gentle and loving to Bob during his final two days and we are grateful for their care.
What we have found through this journey is that families of patients stricken with Frontal Lobe Dementia are in need of additional support. It is such a scary disease for everyone; more group support and services for families are desperately needed. In order to help in this fight, and in lieu of flowers, we would like people who want to remember Bob to mail donations in Bob Slater’s name, payable to KU Endowment – Alzheimer’s Research, to KU Endowment, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., MS 3012, Kansas City, KS 66160.
Bob is survived by his loving wife Eleanor “Ellie” (Marler Masterson); daughter Vivian, son Gene (Susan), Chip Masterson (Joan), Mary Anne Masterson (Chris Klinger); grandkids Michael, Katie Alcántara (Jesús), Makena Lengquist (Jacob), Shannon Masterson, Cassidy Masterson and Colin Masterson; and great grandson Liam (and soon to be sister Baby Girl). He was preceded in death by his wife Mae, his parents Jack, Vivian and Ava, his siblings Mildred Russell (Charles), Jack “Buddy” (Elizabeth “Liz”) and Charles “Charlie” (Mary “Mert”). He always said he had the best two wives in the world.
All week we could hear Bob saying to Heaven’s gatekeeper “I’ll be there when I’m good and ready!” And on June 20th, he was ready.
Dear Miss Ellie,
I was deeply saddened to see that Mr. Bob passed away. As his obituary mentioned, I guess he was ready but I know that doesn't lessen the pain and loss all of his loved ones are experiencing.
You and he were always a bright spot in my shifts at Bravo. I enjoyed waiting on the two of you and am praying for you both.God bless you.
With my deepest sympathy,
Frank J. Flammer
Friend ,Kansas City ,Missouri
Vivian: so sorry to read about your Dad’s passing. What a great life he had and a great family he made. Charlene