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Muriel Oakes Slatoff Resident of Hayward Passed away gently at age 90 in Hayward surrounded by a loving family that included children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and elder siblings. Muriel was born in Livermore to George and Pauline Oakes. Her father was a newspaperman and she always said her childhood was filled with news print and press passes . A child of the Depression she brought forth many lessons from that era including creative cooking, the strength of family and a Rooseveltian liberalism that lasted her life. An East Bay native who still viewed it as a patchwork of townships she also had an insatiable urge to travel, live in strange worlds and meet new people. While a student at UC Berkeley she studied anthropology in Mexico City which she called the most exciting city in world and recalled the death of Trotsky. She married Howard Slatoff whom she met as a sailor incidental to a USO dance during the War. They lived in a adobe cottage in the Santa Cruz Mountains the walls of which Howard covered with murals of the Toltec gods that had been the subject of Muriel's studies. Howard and Muriel went on to have three children Gregory, Christopher and Alexandra whom Muriel raised with love and tolerant wisdom while Howard worked as a dean and professor of art at Cal State Hayward. Their home in the Hayward Hills brimmed with art, books and energy. A true Californian she loved nothing more than its "golden hills" that surrounded their home. Her children grown, Muriel lived in Seville Spain for several years which developed her love of flamenco dancing and Murillo paintings. Upon her return she taught English as a second language and helped raise her grandchildren Robert, Michael, Gabriel, David, Rachel, Alexandra and Lara in a home filled with love and surrounded by vines of jasmine. With the advance of age the focus of her life remained family, food and politics, with an occasional trip to Seville with grandson, Robbie, or Ephesus with her sister Marge. She is loved and will be missed by more family than can be mentioned and her loving and gentle spirit will be always be with them.
Published in Inside Bay Area on Nov. 22, 2012
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