Nedra Grace Slauson|
Nedra died July 10, 2014, age 84, 14 months after a stroke.
She was born September 20, 1929, in Ballard, above what is now a Starbucks on Market Street (perhaps that explains her love of coffee). She was the only child of Oscar and Gertrude Evanson and was proud of her Norwegian roots. Her childhood was filled with lessons in singing, accordion-playing, and tap-dancing, which were put to good use at the Salmon Bay Eagles Club, where her dad was the first president.
She graduated from Ballard High in 1946 and the University of Washington School of Journalism in 1950. While at the UW, she was active in Westminster House, a Presbyterian club, as well as Theta Sigma Phi, a journalism honorary for women. She was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She later returned to the UW to earn a Masters of Library Science in 1974.
Nedra's career always had a literary or educational slant. She held editorial positions at the Everett Herald, Rexall (Drug Co.) Magazine, and the WEA Journal. After leaving the Washington Education Association, she and colleague Barbara Krohn published the Washington Education Directory for many years. In 1994, she was honored by the Seattle Professional Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications with the Georgina Davis Founder's Award.
Nedra married aerospace engineer James Slauson on July 10, 1954, and moved to the Los Angeles area. During her marriage she also lived in Titusville, FL, during the late 1950s, while Jim worked at Cape Canaveral. They also lived in Huntsville, AL. Between these stints, she was always happy to return to the NW and the Skycrest neighborhood of south Seattle. After divorcing in 1968, she and her children returned to Ballard, where she lived until moving to Edmonds in 2006.
She had a beautiful alto voice and loved choral music. The 25 years she sang in George Shangrow's Seattle Chamber Singers were a highlight. She also greatly enjoyed singing with the Norwegian Ladies Chorus and the Prospect UCC church choir. Another hobby was amateur dramatics, and she acted in several Mountaineers' plays at Kitsap Forest Theater.
She was a 50+ year member of The Seattle Mountaineers and treasured her four-digit membership number at REI. Family vacations were spent backpacking, canoeing, skiing, biking, waterskiing, and sailing. Her love of travel took her all over the world, from trekking in Nepal, hiking in New Zealand and Australia, biking down the Rhine, kayaking in Belize, and going on safari in Kenya. Her last overseas adventure was a Rick Steves tour to Greece in 2011, where she amazed all by climbing every steep hill. She also enjoyed many Elderhostel trips over the years.
Nedra is survived by her son Ken (Denise) of Wasilla, AK; son Howard (Tracy) of Lynnwood, and daughter Lauren (Tony) of Ballard. She is also survived by grandson Patrick of Anchorage, AK; grandson Tim of Fairbanks, AK; and granddaughter Sarah (Bob) of Boston, MA.
Special thanks to the staff at the Foss Home in north Seattle, for the outstanding care shown to Nedra in her final months, and to assistance provided by The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial.
A memorial is planned for Thursday, August 14, 2:00 p.m., at the Sons of Norway's Leif Erikson Lodge, 2245 NW 57th, in Ballard. Remembrances may be sent to The Mountaineers, The Association for Women in Communications, Prospect UCC, or any group that promotes choral music or the outdoors.
Hvil i fred, kjaere mor!
Published in The Seattle Times on Aug. 10, 2014