Daisy Butcher Slater
is honored with a Medium Paver from Charles B. Slater.
Daisy Butcher Slater was an orphan who grew up in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee where love for others and interest in the poor in spirit led her to become a nurse. She fell in love with a young doctor who shared her dream of serving God in far off China.
Daisy Butcher was born August 19,1904, in a cabin in Union County, Tennessee. Her father, Charles B. Butcher, and mother, Lily Parkey, were store keepers.
"Cornbread Consumption," now known as tuberculosis, was rampant. Her father died of it when she was six years old and seven years later her mother died of the same disease. Daisy, her sister and brother went to live with her grandmother in a log cabin built in the early 1800s.
Education was so important to Daisy that she cleaned houses so she could attend high school and college. She earned her nursing degree in St. Louis, Missouri where she met Paul R. Slater, a resident at Washington University Medical School. Paul's father was a minister and Paul had wanted to be a missionary for many years.
They married April 4, 1930, and left for China in 1931. Their first daughter, Mary Joan, was born in Peking in 1931. The Slaters were assigned to their mission station in Nantong, in Jiangsu Province and their son William was born in 1933.
In 1936, Daisy and Paul returned to St. Louis where Paul did post graduate studies. Their furlough was extended by the Japanese invasion of China. Their daughter Joy Ellen was horn in St. Louis in 1938.
The family returned to China when Joy was six months old for another two and a half years. The stress and hardship of their lives was multiplied by the tensions of the Japanese occupation.
In addition to her duties at the hospital, Daisy taught English classes and worked at the mission school and church. She also taught her own children in their attic schoolroom at home.
After the war situation worsened for nationals from other countries, the American Consul notified their citizens to leave. The Slaters left China on December 26, 1941 on the last Canadian Pacific passenger ship to leave Shanghai harbor.
When the United States entered the war, Paul went into the army and Daisy returned to active nursing. Their son David was born in 1944.
After World War II, the Slater family moved to Wichita, Kansas, where Paul was a physician at the Veterans Hospital. Their son Charles was born in 1948, and Daisy retired from professional nursing.
Daisy enjoyed reading, dolls, crafts, handiwork, and her grandchildren. She had a wonderful sense of humor, was an inspiration, friend, caring mother and grandmother and loved by those who knew her.
Paul died in 1967 and Daisy died in 1979. They are buried in Wichita.
When Daisy was a young woman, a friend gave her a copy of Samuel Foss's poem, "Let Me Live In A House By The Side Of The Road." There is a line in it that says, "Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man." Daisy truly was a friend to all of humanity.
April 22, 1999