We Remember

SLATER, Morris “Mo” Bert

September 13, 1930 — November 7, 2023

Mo was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan on September 13, 1930, but spent his early life in Edmonton, AB.

At a young age, he earned his piano degree from the Royal Conservatory of Music, playing until last year. He had a lifelong love of sports, and it was in the YMCA gym that he met Joy, where they were both involved in competitive gymnastics. They married in 1953.

Mo obtained a Bachelor of PE from UBC in 1954, receiving his Big Block in gymnastics, and a Master’s degree from the University of Oregon. He was the Physical Director of the Vancouver YMCA until 1957, when he and Joy moved to Nelson to teach. Mo taught PE at L.V. Rogers Secondary School until 1965, when he became the Supervisor of Instruction. In 1978, he became principal at Trafalgar Junior High.

Mo was very involved in the Nelson community, including the Gyro club. He worked with the Whitewater Ski Society to obtain grants to build the hill, and was delighted when that came to fruition.

Upon retirement in 1987, they moved to Kelowna, BC where they spent many happy days at Big White (Mo skied until he was 75). He loved his golf games at Shannon Lake with his buddies, where they always had the first tee time of the day. He and Joy were great cheerleaders when watching his daughters and grandchildren participate in their various sports. He volunteered at the Apple Triathlon and worked with Elections Canada.

Mo and Joy travelled all over the world, but had a special connection with the Mexican town of Guayabitos, where they spent time each winter.

Mo had a life well lived. He loved a good joke, scratch-and-win tickets, spare ribs, Jeopardy, jelly beans, split screen TVs (because he could watch several games at the same time), and bragging rights on modest wagers. He was a talented rock wall builder and an accomplished crib player, often beating Alison. 4:30 pm “wine time” was a daily event.

Mo is survived by his wife, Joy, and their daughters, Leslie (John) and Alison (Matt); grandchildren Alex (Anica), and Cameron (Kristina); two great-grandchildren; and his sister, Shirley. He was predeceased by his brother, Harold.

The family would like to extend a special thank-you to the team at Lakeview Lodge, who took such good and kind care of Mo in his last few years as he dealt with the challenges of dementia.

A celebration of Mo’s life will be held next spring. Donations in Mo’s memory can be made to the BC Cancer Foundation.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

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BC Cancer Foundation Link: www.bccancer.bc.ca/donate




  • Dianne Neufeld says:

    We would like to express our sincere condolences to you Joy, and you daughters Leslie and Alison and their families, on the death of Moe. He was a true ‘Renaissance Man’ with so many interests, talents and skills in the ares of music, sports and education. We hope that all your wonderful family memories with help you during this difficult time. Sincerely, The Central Okanagan Retired Teachers’ Association.

  • Walter and Judy Trkla says:

    I was saddened to read that Mr. Slater has died. I called him about a year or so ago and asked him how he was feeling, he did not complain but said, “great thanks “.

    It is interesting how I reconnected with Mr. Slater my high school Volleyball coach and PE teacher. About ten years ago one of his grandsons received the academic athlete award that was established in my name after I retired from teaching. The connection was made through his daughter. It was at that time that I found out that the Slaters were living in Kelowna. I called him and every once in a while, we spoke about the old days at LV Rodgers.

    One of My friend Evelyn Vipond Schmidt lost her mother and while talking with her at Paul Lake she said that she received a condolence letter from someone from Kelowna that she did not know. Edmonton, dance, Gymnastics was mentioned in the letter and I said to Evelyn that must be Moe Slater. Evelyn called me a few days later and said that her mother was Joy Slater’s friend in Edmonton. I called Mr. and Mrs. Sater and shared this story with them. It was Joy who then told me about their early life in Edmonton.

    Moe was a great teacher, never a boss, but a great coach. He loved gymnastics and was very good at it so we did lots of gymnastics in PE. His volleyball team was the best in the province and several of us played for UBC and U of Victoria. Mr. Slater developed our skills and several of us, thank to Mr. Slater carried on his legacy coaching and teaching.

    Mr. Slater lived a productive life, and many of us who went to school in Nelson were fortunate to have such a teacher and coach. He was a very positive influence in our life. Joy and the extended Slater family please accept our sincere condolences.

  • Diane Watts says:

    I send sincere condolences to Joy and the girls and extended families on the passing of Moe – a wonderful teacher at LV Rogers in Nelson. Moe and Joy connected in meaningful ways with students and we were always so delighted to have them attend our high school reunions. He will always be fondly remembered by the class of 1961.

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