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Longtime elementary school teacher and a ‘true survivor’ dies at 105

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Ruth Slade turns 104

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

One of the oldest Butler County residents has died.

Ruth Slade, who spent 37 years as a first- and second-grade teacher in Poasttown, died Friday night at Otterbein Lebanon SeniorLife Community. She was 105.

“She always had a smile on her face,” said Chuck Veidt, 61, who cared for Slade in his West Alexandria Road residence for years. “She never complained.”

MORE: ‘I don’t believe it myself’: Madison Twp. ‘survivor’ and former teacher turns 104

He said Slade’s health remained strong “right up to the end.”

Ruth Slade, a retired teacher who taught at Poasttown Elementary School in Madison Twp., died Friday night at Otterbein SeniorLife. She was 105.  NICK GRAHAM/FILE
Ruth Slade, a retired teacher who taught at Poasttown Elementary School in Madison Twp., died Friday night at Otterbein SeniorLife. She was 105. NICK GRAHAM/FILE

Slade beat breast cancer twice and persevered after her leg was pinned under a patio door for 18 hours as her body temperatures fell to dangerous levels.

About 12 years ago, Veidt checked on Slade in her home up the street from his to see if she needed anything from the grocery store. He was shocked to see her lying face down in the kitchen as about a foot of snow accumulated just outside the door. She was rushed to the hospital, where her body temperature returned to safe levels after two hours. She suffered frostbite.

“I see a survivor,” Veidt said at Slade’s 104th birthday party. “She is something else. A true survivor. Her mind is better than mine. She’s a tough act to follow.”

She credited eating fresh food from the family garden for her long life, but Veidt chimed in that Slade often told him not being married was the reason.

Born in a farmhouse in Madison Twp. in 1914, Slade graduated from Middletown High School in 1932.

The elementary school library within the Madison Local School District is named Ruth E. Slade Media Center in honor of the former teacher.  Ruth Slade died Friday. She was 105.
The elementary school library within the Madison Local School District is named Ruth E. Slade Media Center in honor of the former teacher.  Ruth Slade died Friday. She was 105.

Slade taught two years in a one-room schoolhouse, then 35 years after Poasttown built a new school. She retired in 1972. One of her former first-grade students, Homer Hartman, 87, attended Slade’s 104th birthday party.

The library in the elementary school is named the Ruth E. Slade Media Center for her 37 years of service to the district.

At her birthday party last year, Slade was asked if she was afraid to die: “When (God) comes for me, I will be ready to go.”

Arrangements, being handled by Herr-Riggs Funeral Home, are pending.