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Helen Slater Zager

Helen Slater Zager

Helen Slater Zager, an accomplished ceramic artist and much-loved friend to many, died on March 10, 2013, at age 92.

Helen was born in Philadelphia on June 1, 1920. She spent most of her adult life in Los Angeles, where she married her first husband, Dan Slater, and raised three children. Helen and Dan ran a summer camp, Camp Roosevelt, in Idyllwild, Calif. for more than 20 years.

Helen began working in clay in 1960, and continued to produce a wide variety of ceramics for 50 years. She gained national recognition and was a mentor and friend to many young artists.

In 1973, she married the love of her life, Ray Zager. They moved to Corralitos, where they lived for 20 years. In 2010, Ray and Helen moved to Friends House in Santa Rosa. After 39 years of marriage, Ray died on November 6, 2012, which she felt as a great loss.

Helen is survived by her children Patsy, Larry, and Michael, stepchildren Paul and Lynnanne; grandchildren Oliver, Allison, Gregory, Amanda, David, Sam Gray, and Claire; daughters-in-law Irene, Ann, and Denise; son-in-law Richard; extended family Joanne, Liza, Sara, Peter, Andrew, Alexandra, and Kisha; and many close friends, including Loralee, Elsa, Robin, Karla, Bill, Joyce, Peter and Michelle, Patrick and Nancy, Kristine, and Theo.

A memorial will be held on March 30 in Berkeley, Calif. Details

Donations in Helen's memory can be made to Camp Phoenix.

Memories of Helen

Autobiography of Helen's Early Life

Helen's Family Tree

Helen's childhood homes


Helen Tells Her Story

On February 1, 2011, Helen gave a talk at Friends House in Santa Rosa about her life in ceramics. The video is below, in five parts.