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Gladys Slate Majo

Gladys Anna Slate

20 April 1914 - 15 May 1968

My Grandmother

If you are very fortunate growing up, you may have had the opportunity to develop a relationship with all four of your grandparents. In some cases, you may have even been lucky enough to spend time with a great-grandparent. In my case, I was close with three grandparents and cherish the memories and lessons learned from each of them. My Mom's Mom, Gladys Slate Majo was the one I never had the opportunity to know -- I was just a baby when she passed at the young age of 54.

Gladys Anna Slate was born in the spring of 1914 and spent her entire life in Northern New York. The sixth child of railroad engineer Raymond Slate and homemaker Lottie Boyer, she lived in Watertown and Chaumont as a child and young adult.

She married Merton Majo in 1932 at the age of 18 and would have a family of three daughters while living in the small village of Dexter, New York. Gladys spent nearly two decades working, and later managing, the Dexter School cafeteria.

Here are some milestones, documents and photos through the years:


Gladys Slate at 5 years old, living with her parents Raymond Slate and Lottie Boyer and six siblings on Main Street in the village of Chaumont.

Raymond Slate and family in Chaumont, 1920 Federal Census (click image for full page)


Now 15 years old, this will be the last census with Gladys living at home with her parents and siblings.

Slate family in Chaumont, 1930


At 18 years old, Gladys Slate married Merton Majo on June 12, 1932 at Stone Street Presbyterian Church in Watertown.

1932 marriage license of Gladys Slate and Merton Majo


In 1940, Gladys and Mert are living in Dexter with their twin daughters, Joan and Jane.

Majo family in the 1940 Census, Dexter, New York


On April 21, 1944 Gladys gave birth to her third and final child, Elaine less than three weeks after Merton left home to serve in the Navy during World War II. Gladys was in poor health following the birth of Elaine and would unsuccessfully petition the Navy for Merton's early release from service.

Gladys with newborn Elaine and twins Jane and Joan, 1944

Gladys with twin daughters Jane & Joan

Gladys and Merton Majo, 1955

Gladys Slate Majo, 1958


On May 15th, less than a month after her 54th birthday, Gladys Slate Majo died of an apparent heart attack after collapsing on a walk near their home in Dexter earlier that evening. She left behind her husband Mert, three daughters and eight grandchildren.

Gladys Majo Obituary, May 16, 1968, Watertown Daily Times

Gladys Anna Slate
Merton Majo
(married 1932)
Joan (1936) • Jane (1936-2015) • Elaine (1944-2018)

Mert and Gladys Majo at Dexter Cemetery