Billy Paul Slater, 88, of Mount Airy, passed away suddenly Wednesday Jan. 11. Born Sept. 6, 1928 in Ray County, MO to George and Leona Slater, he was the devoted husband of Mary Helen Slater. He was preceeded in death by his parents, siblings Irma Wyant, Eula Hankins, Robert Slater and Mary Kerr, daughter Linda Uland and wife Mary. Billy and Mary were married Jan. 11, 1949 in Kearney, MO and had eight children, Linda, formerly of Damascus, David Slater of Knoxville, Carol Kodish of Urbana, Larry Slater of Knoxville, Nancy Englar of Mount Airy, Susie Powers of Damascus, Jon Slater of Columbus, OH, and Marty Slater of Damascus. In 1962, the family left Missouri for Maryland, where Billy was a dairy herdsman on several farms in Frederick and Montgomery Counties over five decades. After retiring from farming in 2012, Billy moved to Mt. Airy and stayed busy tending to his large garden, feeding and watching the many birds congregated on the rural property, and helping out with various chores. He enjoyed listening to country, bluegrass and gospel music and watching televised sports, particularly Orioles baseball and Maryland Terrapins basketball. Known for his strong work ethic and gentle, kind-hearted nature, Billy was loved and respected by all who knew him. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, including many from the Mt. Airy Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, where he and Mary were members. He especially loved being surrounded by his 16 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren at family gatherings. He also spent much of the past several years in the company of close friend and neighbor Doris Remines. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at the Mount Airy Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, located at 7255 Ridge Rd. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Special Olympics; St. Jude's Hospital; Boystown or a charity of your choice.
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