Raleigh A. Slawson

Raleigh Ashbrook Slawson died on Sunday, August 31, 2014, after a day of happy visiting with his
children. He was 99.
He was preceded in death by all of his siblings and their spouses, and his loving wife of 58 years,
Ingrid J. Slawson.
Surviving are their loving children, Eva Slawson (partner Bettye Jo) (Toledo), Kent Slawson (Dayton, TN),
Geoff Slawson (wife Marna) (Homewood, IL), Jon Slawson (Toledo), and Eric Slawson (Northwood), along
with grandson Matthew McCormick.
The first-born of Clara (Lowry) and Mervin Slawson, Raleigh experienced a great deal of change in the
century that he lived. His formative boyhood years in Dayton, TN, saw the "Scopes Monkey
Trial" that put the teaching of evolution on the defense, when he was 10. He planted trees for the
Civilian Conservation Corps in BG for a summer in his teens. The rest of his teens and 20s saw the
decade of the Great Depression of the 1930s. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the beginning of World War
II, serving as a Radioman (the I.T. guy of his day) aboard a PBM Mariner flying boat with VP-201 that
helped find German submarines in the Atlantic, and then did air-sea rescue of downed pilots in the
After the war, through mutual friends at BGSU, he met the future love of his life, Ingrid, a Swedish
student nearing the end of her one-year scholarship. Their intellects meshed easily, and they
corresponded for a year and a half, until he convinced her to come back from Sweden to marry him in
1951. "He was a very good letter writer!" she said. They were married at the First Unitarian
Church of Toledo (then at Collingwood and Bancroft in Toledo, OH), where they both remained very active.
They were happily married until her death from cancer four years ago.
Raleigh worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad for many years, retired, then worked at UT’s Tech-Media
until he retired from there at 70. Still with plenty of life left in him, he took up work as a security
guard, until he retired from that, too.
He had many interests, dabbling in Ham Radio, and serving as a Boy Scout Troop Leader and as Troop
Commissioner for a time. He was an avid reader with a life-long love of the written word, and collected
thousands of books of all types and genres. Science, math, history, literature, geography, archaeology
and nature all fascinated him.
He and Ingrid were also very early members of the Scandinavian Club of Toledo, in which the family
remains very active.
They both enjoyed travel to Europe, Hawaii and Alaska, and were able to take each of their children to
Sweden to meet Ingrid’s family there, as he remained in exceptional health for his years.
The last few years were harder, though, as his strength declined in small steps. But he was steadfast
through it all, and remained intelligent and witty to the end.
His influence is felt. He will be deeply missed.
Raleigh’s Memorial Service will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, at the First Unitarian Church of
Toledo, 3205 Glendale Ave, Toledo, Ohio 46314. Immediately following will be his 100th birthday party.

Donations can be made to the First Unitarian Church of Toledo.