Jesse Nishi Noto Slaton Sr.

May 18, 1941February 14, 2021
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Jesse Nishi Noto Slaton Sr. was born May 18th, 1941 in Kansas City, Mo., the second of nine children (that lived to adulthood) to the union of John Slaton and Lenora Cunningan-Slaton. Jesse was raised in a loving home where his parents taught him to respect and honor God. In 1942, Jesse’s parents relocated to California, settling in Merced. His father had previously lived in Merced and was one of the early African American settlers in the County. His father, John Slaton, owned and operated a labor camp, a cafe and was known to be the first African American to successfully grow cotton on a commercial basis in Merced County.

Jesse’s primary education began in the Merced Unified School District, attending early primary grades first through sixth in a one room class at the old Farmdale Elementary which later became Weaver Elementary. In 1953, the family moved to Livingston, Ca and Jesse continued his education at Livingston Elementary and Livingston High School.

As a child, Jesse enjoyed the fun and adventure of boyhood discovery and the gift of having many siblings (He had 21 siblings including children from his father’s previous marriages). He was protective of his younger siblings and was especially close to his older brother Lynard and his sisters Dorothy and Marie because they were all close in age. Their mother, Lenora, would pack their school lunches in metal lunch pails or they returned home for lunch midday. Jesse loved sweets as a kid and often ate the extra pies his mother made. In high school, Jesse devoted himself to exercise and strength training and transformed his body.

Jesse married Ethel Jones in 1958. To this union four children were born: Denise, Kathy, Robin and Jesse Jr. Two children preceded him in death: Kathy Slaton-Graham and Jesse Nishi Noto Slaton, Jr.

After separating from his first wife in 1987, Jesse spent his life with a devoted partner, Mary Mabrey. After 30 years together, they married in 2017. With this marriage, he had 3 step children: Brian, Claudia and Jason. Mary preceded Jesse in death in 2018. During their years together, Jesse and Mary were members of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Atwater, Ca.

Jesse began his career in Warehouse Management/Hospital Supplies at Merced General Hospital in 1963. His brother, Lynard Slaton, Sr., later held the local honor of renaming the hospital in the ‘70’s to Merced Community Medical Center. Jesse retired as the Manager of Hospital Supplies after 35.7 years of service. After retirement, he owned a janitorial service and worked for Salvation Army Donation Center.

Jesse’s hobbies were biking, fishing and maintaining an immaculate lawn. People often joked that they could lie down and take a nap in his yard. Jesse also enjoyed reading Louis L’Amour Western Frontier novels, playing dominoes and barbecuing. Jesse and Mary loved spending time together travelling to Reno and other casinos in the valley. Together, they also enjoyed traveling the valley to see their great nephews (Jordan and Logan) play basketball and football. Jesse had an infinite love for dogs and enjoyed his Pitbull-Mix, Sheba. In his later years and as his health declined, Jesse held a special bond and connection with his nephew, Thomas Slaton. As his health declined, he entrusted Thomas to manage his affairs.

Jesse leaves to cherish his memory his two children: Denise Slaton-Melancon of Fresno, Ca, Robin Slaton-Jiles of San Bernardino, Ca; 3 stepchildren: Brian Mabrey of Stockton, Ca, Claudia (Steve) Mabrey Brown of Merced, Ca and Jason Mabrey of Merced, Ca; 5 grandchildren, 17 step grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, 5 step great grandchildren; 4 siblings: Marie Slaton-Love of Merced, Ca, Rosie Lee Slaton-Knott (Carl) of Fontana, Ca, Tojo Slaton (Janestine) of Corona, Ca and Semanola Turner of Elk Grove, Ca and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

We honor the life and cherished memory of Jesse Nishi Noto Slaton, Sr.: our father, step father, brother, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, family member and friend. We will all miss him, but we are honored and blessed to have had him in our lives.

There will be a public Visitation on Sunday, March 7, 2021, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Stratford and Evans Merced Funeral Home, 1490 B Street Merced, Ca; Covid-19 guidelines will be followed. In person Funeral Services will be private due to Covid-19 restrictions. In an effort to accommodate family and friends, live stream viewing will be available on Facebook via the Stratford and Evans website March 8, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.


  • Brian Mabrey
  • Christopher Lloyd-Patterson
  • William Ysidro Porter
  • Logan Slaton
  • Matthew Slaton
  • Timothy Slaton
  • Darryl Bowen Sr., Honorary
  • Eric Howard, Honorary
  • Stoney Jackson, Honorary
  • Sherwood Moore, Honorary
  • Willie Porter, Honorary
  • Derome Scoggins, Honorary
  • Kevin Slaton, Honorary
  • Thomas Leon Slaton, Honorary
  • Tojo Slaton, Honorary
  • William Fredrick Slaton, Honorary
  • Carl Knott Sr., Honorary


7 March


3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Stratford Evans Merced Funeral Home

1490 B Street
Merced, CA 95340


Jesse Nishi Noto Slaton Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Rosie Knott

March 3, 2021

Thomas Slaton

March 3, 2021

Uncle Jesse,

I always felt a special closeness to you, probably because from my earliest memories, you were always there for me. Over the years you would often tell me that you didn’t know what you would do without me, I was always humbled when you said that. Now that you're gone it's hard to imagine what I'll do without you. You taught me to be a better man, by encouraging and supporting me at times in my life when I needed it most. I appreciate everything you did for me throughout the years, I will never forget how excited and thankful I was in 1986 when you let me borrow your pearl white Monte Carlo, to take my then girlfriend ‘Benelda’ and now wife of 31 years to the prom. I feel so fortunate and blessed to have had such a wonderful uncle in my life. Over the past several years I looked forward to our daily phone calls and especially enjoyed my monthly visits with you. I will miss cooking for you and hearing you say “Nephew, you sho do have it smelling good in here", and continued complimenting me, by saying "Thomas, this food sho is good” as we talked and laughed. You were a caring and loving uncle and you made sure to let me know that I was loved. I will cherish the many memories we shared and will never forget your most notable saying of “No Joking” and of course when you were upset and finished saying what you needed to say, you would end it with a stern “Period”!
You will be a part of my life forever, I love you dearly and may God be with you until we meet again.

Your nephew Thomas (Leon) Slaton

Markita Martin

March 3, 2021

Papa I can’t believe you’re gone! As a kids you never think of your grandparents leaving this earth in our eyes you are like superhero’s that live forever and have a money tree in the back yard. You loved me since before I was born and cared for me in one way or another my whole 30 yrs of life and I thank you grandpa.❤️ I will always cherish our trips (even tho you said I was a pain to travel with), our laughs and our cries. Tell Grandma I miss her and to save me a place in heaven next to you two.

Semanola Turner

March 1, 2021

As a child, I remember Jesse being the protector of my brother Lester and I as we were the youngest of 13 children. For example, My older brother (Johnny Slaton junior) but younger than Jesse- thought he could be the better role model and authority figure, but in a bossy "do as I say way" or…. However, Lester and I weren't haven't it! I remember one situation, when our brother Johnny literally chased Lester and I down the street from our mother's home, off Charles Avenue in Merced, to my brother Jesse's house;as we were loudly screaming, Jesse! Jesse! Jesse! Whew! we were running 🏃‍♂️ for our lives lol! at least as children, it felt that way.

As a child, I remember the family reunions activities at Lake Yosemite Park 🏞Merced, Ca. Jesse harmonized passionately to ensure that everyone felt dignified in every way with his backyard barbecues style activities at Lake Yosemite park-- coordinating these celebrations and gatherings for the children for an exciting spins of fun sports and swimming. He was full of laughter, always happy with a great lifting spirit.

Jesse would always call to check on me after our mother passed. He continued to support and protect me even as I was an adult. I would call and check on him after his wife passed. As I sat here reminiscing tears are flowing from my eyes. I will truly miss you my brother❤ you will never be forgotten- you will always be in my heart. Thank you for being the best brother that a sister can ever have. I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to talk to you before you fell ill. Rest in peace in paradise~ Love💞 you, your sister Simie (aka Semanola).

Jordan Slaton

March 1, 2021

Uncle Jesse, I appreciate all the love and support you displayed. From traveling down to watch basketball games to checking in on my journey throughout college, hearing from you always brought me joy. Words can't describe the impact you've made on my life. I'm grateful for the moments that we shared and I love you!

Derome Scoggins

February 23, 2021

My Uncle Jesse. ....first of all I never knew you had such a cool middle name😊...Uncle I hadn't known that @ the recycle center when I helped you unload and sort all of your, just about everything's you probably had since the 80's, several months back, would be the last we spoke. Though I was able to tell you that I loved you. I remember how we laughed about how I was anticipating and bracing myself for the strongest, firmest, and yet the calmest handshake that I ever experienced my entire life, leaving you with no choice other than to say, "Uncle Uncle!" As it would when I was growing up. But you didn't do it Uncle.....maaannnnnn. Once a handshake that I feared with a quiet respect whenever I would see you, to one that saddened me to see that it wasn't coming back. Uncle Jesse you will be sincerely missed from us all. I love you....your nephew Derome💙.


Jesse Sr.


Jesse Sr.