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Thelma Turner Slater, 90, of Tucker, GA, entered eternal rest on October 29, 2020. She was born in Red Bank, NJ, on July 5, 1930. She was the only daughter of Sherley and Ethel Wilson Turner.
Thelma graduated from Red Bank High School and went on to receive her Bachelor’s in Music from Hampton Institute, now known as Hampton University, in 1951. While teaching, she attended Teacher’s College of Columbia University in New York City, where she obtained her Master’s in Music Education.
Thelma married Sergeant Major Paul W. Slater in 1961. As a military wife, she was afforded the opportunity to hold many teaching positions in the United States and abroad. Among the many places where she taught were Rustburg, VA, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Dania Beach, FL, El Paso, TX, Munich, Germany, Wiesbaden, Germany, and finally, in New Jersey, Matawan, Eatontown and Neptune. She retired from the Neptune Township School District in 1998, after many years of dedicated service.
Thelma’s accomplishments and organizational affiliations are vast. She lent her musical talents wherever needed and loved what she did. She especially loved working with young people. Whenever asked how she was doing, her response was always a resounding “BLESSED”.
Thelma was a loyal member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a past Worthy Matron of Eastern Star Prince Hall Affiliated. She was the visionary leader of the Annual Black History Month Community Musical Celebration at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Asbury Park, NJ. Thelma was very proud to hear how the program continued to grow.
She relocated to Decatur, GA in 2006 to be near her beloved brother, Alvin. While in Decatur, Thelma worshipped at The Episcopal Church of Holy Cross in Decatur, GA, yet remained faithful to her home church, St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Asbury Park, NJ.
Thelma was a part of the ‘Jive Five’, consisting of the late Lillian Williams and Willie Robinson, along with Zara Peters-Wynn, Janice Keener, and herself. She enjoyed traveling and was an avid reader, especially romance novels.
Thelma was predeceased by her husband, Paul, her parents and her only brother, Delmar Alvin Turner. She leaves to cherish many wonderful memories among her family: sister-in-law, Mrs. Eva Turner, GA; cousins, Mrs. Audrey Robertson, Dr. Susan Alston and Steven Robertson, NJ; and friends: Ms. Zara Peters-Wynn, FL; Ms. Yvette Jones, GA; Mrs. Thomasina F. Savage, NJ; Tony and Karen Williams, GA, along with other friends and associates. Special thanks and gratitude to Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Hill of Decatur, GA for all the love they showed her.
“Blessed Are the Pure In Heart, For They Shall See God”
Matthew 5:8, NKJV
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