MARTHA TAFT SLADE Martha was born in San Jose, California on February 15, 1919, to Arlo and Helen Dice Taft. The only child of a bookkeeper and a one-room school teacher, she grew up in Corning and Gerber, and rode the school bus to Red Bluff Union High School, graduating in 1935. She received a degree in economics from UC Berkeley in 1939. Martha worked as a secretary in the Bay Area until she met Bill Slade at Audubon Camp in July, 1953. They were engaged a week later. They lived in Willows, Exeter, and Calexico, where Bill was a high school principal and Lieutenant Colonel (Reserve) in the Army. During those years, Martha was active in the League of Women Voters and the Association of University Women. The Slades moved to Paradise in 1969. Martha resided at her home on Wagstaff Road for 44 years until shortly before her death. She also maintained a vacation home in Mineral, California for over 70 years. Martha was an active member of the Military Officers Association of America for decades and a life member of the Lassen Park Foundation. Martha had a keen interest in local history and was an instrumental member of many state and local historical associations. She served on the boards of the Conference of California Historical Societies and the Bidwell Mansion Association for 30 years and 10 years, respectively. She was President of the Butte County Historical Society and Paradise Fact and Folklore. She was a life member of the Gold Nugget Museum, the Tehama County Museum Association, and the Tehama County Genealogical and Historical Society. Martha was an accomplished writer and editor. In the '70s and '80s, she wrote a column called "Rear View Mirror" for the Paradise Post and was an editor of the magazines Diggin's and Tales of the Paradise Ridge. From 2000-2002, she wrote an 8-volume, single-spaced autobiography. Martha loved reading, writing, nature, backroads travel, classical and jazz music, sewing, knitting, interesting people, and cats. She is survived by two daughters, Mary Slade of Paradise and Anne Slade Alexander of Irvine, CA, and two grandchildren. No services. Donations may be made to the Bidwell Mansion Association, PO Box 1303, Chico, CA, 95927, http://www.bidwellmansionassociation.com/.
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Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on May 31, 2014