CLAUDIA WILLIAMS SLAUGHTER, 94, died Nov. 3, 1998 in Santa
Monica, CA, at the Sunrise Care Nursing Home.
Claudia was born in San Saba, TX, to the late Abraham & Eliza
Durham Williams, Feb. 8, 1904. She was the tenth child of twelve
children all of whom worked on her father’s Texas farms. Her
parents eventually settled on a farm in Terrell, Texas where
Claudia completed her public school education graduating from
Burnett High School in 1922. She graduated from Paul Quinn
College, Waco, TX, in 1926 with a BA in English. She chose
English over Math thinking it would be more practical for
acquiring a teaching position.
Claudia’s first teaching job was one that would move her away
from the comfort of family and friends in Terrell, TX to an
unknown town called Ranger, TX. This was a big move for her.
Ranger was looking for its first teacher for a new grammar
school for Black children. There was no family or friends
waiting for Claudia in Ranger. This young farmer’s daughter
now found herself in a trailblazer role. In time she made
many friends as Ranger became her new home. She lived with
the Morris family and eventually with the Burnett family
where she made lasting friendships.
In 1933 Claudia Williams married her college sweetheart, M.B.
Slaughter who had worked his way through three colleges as an
athlete finally graduating from Fisk University. With a
Teachers Temporary Certificate M.B. Slaughter taught in
Claudia’s place when she gave birth to their son in 1936.
The school was named Slaughter Ward Grammar School in honor
of Claudia Slaughter’s years of dedicated service. During
her tenure in Ranger she taught two generations. She spent
school months in Ranger and summers in Dallas with her husband.
She finally left Ranger for the last time in the spring of 1944.
Her teaching career continued in Dallas, at C.F. Carr & Degalian
Elementary Schools, for a total of more than forty years of
service in the Texas School System. She received a Masters
Degree in Education from North Texas State University after
Claudia was a devoted member of St. James A.M.E. Church in
Dallas where she gave her prayers, her presence, her gifts and
service. She was a member of the Business & Professional Women’s
Organization, as well as many other community organizations.
After she became ill, her son moved her to Los Angeles, CA to
be near him, her daughter-in-law and grandchildren. She was
preceded in death by her parents, her husband, M.B. Slaughter
and her four brothers and seven sisters.
She is survived by: son, Theodore (Celestine) Slaughter of Los
Angeles, CA; four grandchildren, Donna and Karen of Los Angeles,
CA, Mark of Sacramento, CA, and Michael of Atlanta, GA; two great-
grandchildren; an adopted niece, Patricia Conners of Dallas, TX;
three grandchildren, Charles and Carla of Dallas, and Cedric of
Tulsa, OK; four great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and
nephews and other relatives & friends.