Julia Daily Slaymaker
January 13, 1942 – July 20, 2021
Julia was born January 13, 1942 in Lexington, Kentucky, to Henry and Grace Daily. Julia and her younger sister, Martha, attended Lexington schools including the University of Kentucky (UK). The family lived in a comfortable neighborhood close to the University where Henry taught. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from UK in 1964, Julia volunteered for Peace Corps service and was sent to Nigeria to teach in a private school for girls. This was one of the most important and memorable experiences in her life. She sponsored one of her Nigerian students to study in the U.S. and maintained close relationships with Nigerians in the U.S. and with former Peace Corps members.
Julia married a returned Peace Corps volunteer, Don Stosberg, in 1967. The newly married pair lived in Lexington until they bought a 19th century farm near Frankfurt, Kentucky. Julia and Don began a decades long project to restore and rebuild the onsite log house. During this time Julia and Don adopted two children, Stephen and Katherine, and later she birthed her son Mark. This period of their lives was filled with work and challenges such as creek flooding near their home and harsh winters in the 1970s. They lived in a barn trailer while they restored the log house. Despite the natural challenges of rural life, they were able to meet and make lifelong friends with people in the Frankfort area. Julia, who had obtained a Master’s degree in Geography from UK, began her educational career at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. Don and Julia eventually divorced in the 1980s.
At Midway College in Midway, Kentucky, Julia taught social science courses and also met her future husband, Bill Slaymaker, who taught English courses at Midway. Julia convinced Bill to buy a house in Frankfort and this move led to matrimony as they got to know each other and appreciate their common interests and shared values.
Bill was offered a job at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. He accepted the offer and Julia helped him move there in 1989. Bill proposed, Julia accepted, and they were married in Kentucky in 1991. Julia moved to Wayne and found work with a local Nebraska Educational Service Unit (ESU) which helped her to certify as a teacher of the visually impaired. She completed the certification and drove the windy prairie roads to rural small town schools to help students with vision problems. She loved her job but hated winter weather in the northern Plains. After serving ESU for almost two decades she convinced Bill to find a warmer place, further south, closer to Kentucky, where they could both retire.
In 2008 they bought a house in Bloomington, Indiana where Bill had attended Indiana University graduate school. Julia retired and moved to Bloomington in 2012 and Bill joined her in 2014. Bloomington offered Julia what she had yearned for: milder climate, a cosmopolitan culture, and opportunities to do volunteer work for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the T.C Steele State Historic Site. The move allowed more frequent visits with her 10 grandchildren and she was able to relocate her sister, Martha, from Lexington to Bloomington in order to provide greater care and support. Also her son Mark and family relocated to the same neighborhood in Bloomington.
Julia had been a traveler during her life. In retirement she enjoyed many hiking and biking tours with Road Scholar. She also took many international trips with Bill to Nigeria, Turkey, England and Ireland, Australia, Russia, Sri Lanka, India, Poland, and Martinique. The Pandemic of 2020 curtailed her travels and then in 2021 pancreatic cancer made future travel plans impossible. She received an outpouring of sympathy cards, flowers, and visitations from her many friends. It was obvious she had touched many people in positive ways and had made loyal friends who felt connected to her no matter where they lived. She died July 20, 2021. The members of her religious community and the friends she had made in Bloomington during the nine years of residency celebrated her life as did her three surviving children and husband Bill, all of whom provided her comfort, compassion and love through home care until her death. Hospice supported her for the last five months of her life.
A green burial graveside service for Julia will be held Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 1:30 PM at White Oak Cemetery, 1200 West 7th Street, Bloomington, Indiana 47401.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.DayDeremiahFrye.com for the Slaymaker family.
Green Burial Graveside Service
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Julia Daily Slaymaker
August 25, 2021
I'm so sorry to hear of Julia's passing. I met Julia at an Elderhostle(Roads Scholar) program in Jabez KY several years ago. She was there to learn to play the mountain dulcimer and I was one of the instructors. I read her obituary and am so very impressed with all that she accomplished in her life.
I'm glad I got to meet her, if only for a week.
August 21, 2021
My deepest condolences to Bill and the entire family over the loss of Julia. She was an exceptional person and an outstanding educator for students with visual impairments. While working in rural Nebraska, Julia served students located in communities in an area over 3000 square miles. I’ll always remember her teaching skills because she addressed not only the educational needs of her students but also provided help and support to parents and family members. She taught academic skills, daily living, and life skills to her students and their family members. She had a very positive impact on many students, educators, and parents in Northeast Nebraska. Because of her work ethic, educational skills, and passion for education, and support of her students and families she was a great role model for our ESU staff and administrators. On a personal note, she was one of the best teachers that I have ever worked with in education. It was truly a pleasure to have worked with Julia, she will be missed, and our prayers are with you.
Dr. Bob Uhing, Retired ESU #1 Administrator
August 11, 2021
I met Julia through attending the meetings of several groups, and for the last few years almost every week a one of them. How lucky I was. She was always a delight to be with, funny, smart -- her remarks at the Books Plus Library book group were always insightful -- and kind. I am glad to have known her and I send warm thoughts to you, her family.
August 1, 2021
I was a renter of the barn apartment on the Stosberg farm when the family was together there. I am sorry to hear of her passing. My condolences to her children and husband.
Kristina Hagg Hill
July 30, 2021
I am so sorry about the passing of Julia. I was their babysitter (1980-1981) when they lived in their log home in Frankfort living on a farm near them and I would babysit their 3 children. I remember her making persimmon bread. They were a lovely family. With condolences, Kristina Hagg Hill
July 23, 2021
To all the families of Dr. Bill Slaymaker and Julia Daily Slaymaker's kids, grand kids, her sister, Nephews, Nieces and friends. Please accept my Condolences for the passing of Julia Daily Slaymaker. May her soul rest in peace, and may God comfort all she left behind. She will be missed.