Paul Smith Slater of Bridgeton, Missouri, peacefully passed on June 3, 2022, at the age of 90. He was born January 25,1932 in Pike County Missouri, son of Arthur and Esther (nee Smith) Slater. Paul met his wife Lola Childers of Rutledge, MO, while she was a teacher in Bowling Green, Missouri. They were married in 1953. Paul graduated from the Bowling Green High School. He enlisted and honorably served in the US Air Force in 1952 during the Korean War and remained on active duty until 1956. He was stationed at Offutt AFB, Barksdale AFB, and in Rabat, Morocco. In Rabat Morocco, Lola was very happy to join him and was able to teach there for a while. Paul remained in the Reserves until 1960 while he completed his degree at what is now Truman State University. In addition to his military duty, Paul worked as a Singer Sewing Machine salesman, as an accountant for McDonnell Aircraft, and in the accounting department for Famous Barr Company. He worked his way up to Internal Auditor for Famous Barr, retiring when it was Macy’s.
Paul and Lola loved to drive and explore. They visited almost every State Park in Missouri, and frequently went to Minnesota, Wisconsin and the state of Louisiana every winter. Paul used a CB radio, and his handle was “The Double Checker” because he liked to double check how he could avoid “The Smokies” on highway trips to Elk Park or the family farm in Sandhill, MO. Paul took many lovely photos and used them in stationery for their frequent correspondence with relatives and friends. They also enjoyed many trips overseas, where they also explored by driving.
Paul and Lola were close neighbors of the Brightfield family, becoming especially close to the late Eric Brightfield who traveled with them, Lola’s father, Robert Ernest Childers, and nieces Katharine and Jean Childers. Paul was a loving and fun uncle. The girls stayed with Lola and Paul often while their parents traveled and highlights of many visits were swimming in the Bridgeton pool, eating Aunt Lola’s pies which Paul would ask for by saying, “You got anything sweet out there. Lola?” The girls loved driving in Uncle Paul’s cushy Buicks (always a white Buick!) to Famous Barr to shop, listening to the radio stations playing old 50’s hits. Paul and Lola were loyal members of the Rutledge Renegades. They spent many weekends driving to Memphis Missouri to celebrate everyone’s birthday. Paul was one of the original members of the unofficial Bridgeton “coffee club.” Paul was truly blessed with the kindest, caring neighbors who treated him like family. Paul and Lola were members of the Ferguson Methodist Church and later Arlington Methodist Church in Bridgeton, Missouri.
Paul was the last surviving and youngest of seven children. His siblings were Lloyd Slater, Pauline Slater, Virginia Slater Giauque, Arthur Slater, Jr., John Austin Slater, and William “Bill” Slater. He is survived by his sibling’s children, Tom Slater, Jane Slater Case, Carl Giauque, Stanley Giauque, Arthur “Chip” Slater, Brian Slater, Kenneth Slater and Kathy Slater. He also leaves behind cousins, Linda Slater Collins, Carol Slater Tolbert and Gary Slater, along with other great nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Paul has now joined his “Lolo”, who meant the world to him, and we pray they are both at peace.