Brian Michael Mark Slator, 67, of Fargo, ND, passed away unexpectedly over the weekend. Brian was born October 29, 1952, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Michael and Isabel (Spencer) Slator. The family lived in Winnipeg and Toronto before moving to Minneapolis, MN, where he graduated from Osseo High. Following high school, Brian worked for the railroad & traveled Europe with his best friend Dave Schmidt. He was late to go to college, attending the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. This is where he met his future wife, Rita Miller. They were married on January 7, 1984. Brian then went on to graduate school at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, where he received his Doctorate in Computer Science. They moved to Fargo for 2 years where he worked at NDSU before moving to Evanston, IL. They enjoyed their time in Evanston but returned to Fargo in 1997. Over the past years, Brian took pride in his involvement with the Computer Science Dept. at North Dakota State University. He was head of the Dept. for 10 years and cherished the friendships he made with so many students and colleagues. He mentored students across disciplines, and was instrumental in several interdepartmental collaborations
Brian was an award-winning scientist and teacher, a world traveler, and author. Throughout his life he worked on the railroad, rode a motorcycle cross country, laid sod, delivered newspapers, played hockey, and made movies with his friends. He quit smoking 12 years ago, after 25 plus years, without telling anyone. He loved acting in school productions and supported his children in all their pursuits. He did NOT enjoy musical theater, but…. still supported his daughters no matter what. He went to hockey games with Adam, watched every production Audrey was in, took Megan to Tae Kwon Do competitions and was a Roadie for his wife’s Middle Eastern dance group.
Brian was a terrible cook, but gladly and with much appreciation ate everything put before him. For breakfast, he even ate the first tries of his daughters’ cake baking efforts. He was smart, funny and generous. He was the best story teller, had a loud scary voice that could frighten any kids, but watched them and his grandchildren with surprising delight. Family was always the most important thing. And he always tried to do that right thing.
Brian will be dearly missed by his wife, Rita; children, Adam (Sarah) Halverson Miller of Chicago, IL, Audrey (Mitch) Omar of Seattle, WA, and Megan (Hannah) Slator Hitchcock of Stone Mountain, GA; grandchildren, Nathaniel Good, Isabel, Lillian and Elaina Omar, and Edith Slator Hitchcock; mother, Isabel (Spencer) Slator; siblings, Nancy (Daniel Grubbs) Slator, Kevin (Peggy) Slator, Patrick (Shelly) Slator; several nieces, nephews and many, many friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Michael.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers we have a GO FUND ME PAGE we will put it toward helping Women in Computer Science at NDSU.
Rita would like to thank the Fargo Police department, The Fargo Fire Department and the Cass County Coroner’s office for their kindness and respect during this ordeal.
Kim McVicar posted on 5/27/20
Dear Rita and Family. I was so saddened to hear that Brian had passed away. It is still hard to believe. I had the good fortune to work with Brian in a few different projects during my time at NDSU. Brian had a kind heart and supported students and colleagues in whatever way he could. He was brilliant and wickedly funny. He was creative and collaborative and always made people feel like a valued member of a team, no matter how small their contributions may have been. Like many who have shared their recollections, I am very glad to have known him. The world is better because he was here.
Mark E McCourt posted on 5/18/20
Au revoir, Dr. Slator (for some reason we always referred to each other using such honorifics). It was indeed a pleasure to have known and worked with you lo these many years. And our occasional meetings at the “faculty club” (aka the Bison Turf), where you had a reserved table and a plaque on the wall commemorating your VR learning research, are happy memories. I offer my my sincere condolences to your family who survive you. We will all miss you.
Jim Grier posted on 5/18/20
Brian and Rita have been two of my favorite persons at NDSU. We had some great times, including with Rita when she was in our department (Biological Sciences). The passing of Brian was surprising and very sad. Our hearts go out to Rita and the family.
Carol Steiner posted on 5/15/20
Audrey and Megan, I am sorry for your loss of your dad and for your children’s loss of their grandfather. I trust you will find comfort in your memories of your dad. I talked with your mom, but this is for Brian’s girls. This is a hard time to lose your dad. I am sorry you can’t be together with your mom.
Matti Kariluoma posted on 5/14/20
Brian has been my Mentor since 2010. I just took a trip down memory lane via my inbox. I’d forgotten how many project proposals he and our team had put together- I believe he had two to three educational iOS apps published. I was reminded of his “hard at work” photo series that he has revisited over the years. His philosophy towards work and life are instrumental in shaping how I’ve approached my career and education.
Robert (Bob) Pieri posted on 5/12/20
Brian was a great educator. For several years some of our ONR/NATURE students would work with Brian or his grad students. He had an positive impact on those young adults. I knew him from several groups we were in. I enjoyed his smile and his attitude toward thing, realistic but with an option for the future. I will miss seeing him and I feel for his extended family and for those on campus that will never get to know him.
Achintya Bezbaruah posted on 5/12/20
Brian will be missed. I had the unique opportunity to know Brian as an educator and collaborated with him on a project proposal at NDSU. He thinks differently and that is the beauty. A talented guy. He inspired many and will continue to inspire more. I am sure you will be happy wherever you are now, Brian, but you will be missed here at NDSU.
Sreekala Bajwa posted on 5/12/20
I am greatly saddened to hear about Brian’s passing. May he rest in piece. He has been a great colleague. My deepest condolences to Brian’s family.
Dinesh and Kalpana Katti posted on 5/12/20
We are so sorry for this sudden loss. We have known Dr. Skater for many years as an educator, scholar and a wonderful and kind person. May his soul Rest In Peace. Our deepest condolences for his family
Juan Li posted on 5/12/20
A great mentor and colleague. Dr. Slaotr will always be remembered. Rest In Pease.
Tom Riley posted on 5/11/20
Our condolences to the Slator family. Brian was a fine colleague, scholar and teacher. We will miss him greatly. While Brian was in a college other than mine, he influenced many of our students and collaborated with faculty in my college in a fashion that put NDSU on the map. He will be long remembered here and he will be missed greatly by us all. Our prayers are with you Rita, and the children. His passing has left a great hole in our universe. It will ever b e quite filled.
Linda Jalbert posted on 5/11/20
Rita, my thoughts & prayers are with you & your family. Cherish all your memories. Remember when he started at NDSU & I sold you the house across the street from us. Your little children would be playing on the porch.
Craig Stockwell posted on 5/10/20
Dear Rita and family, I was so sorry to hear about Brian passing away. I often encountered Brian as I walked to my office, often wearing Batman hat, which always brightened my day. I miss him already, and I am so sorry for your loss. Craig
Janet R Fleming-Halmrast posted on 5/10/20
Thank you, Brian for all you did in getting me a “temporary” position at NDSU that somehow became permanent. Your kindness and clarity were characteristics that never waivered. You will be greatly missed. My sympathies to your wife, children and grandchildren.
Jim Deal posted on 5/10/20
A great scholar, administrator, and colleague, and a genuinely nice guy…he’ll definitely be missed.
Mark Strand posted on 5/10/20
Will miss our 5 min chats at the NDSU Wellness Center. RIP Brian
Pranav posted on 5/10/20
You will b missed Prof.Slator
Katherine Olson posted on 5/10/20
Brian will be missed by so many.
Vishwajeet Marathe posted on 5/9/20
Thank you Professor for your knowledge and hardwork !!
Audrey Omar posted on 5/9/20
You can find his GoFundMe page here: gf.me/u/x2cbmz All the money will go towards a scholarship for women in Computer Science at NDSU
Lisa Faulkner posted on 5/9/20
In memory of Brian M. Slator, Lisa Faulkner lit a candle
Wendy Reed posted on 5/9/20
My heart is with you all, Brian was such a kind, generous colleague. I loved his laugh and wonderful sense of humor and justice. Rest In Peace, Brian.
Addy posted on 5/9/20
Rest in peace Dr. Brian Slator. NDSU remembers you.
Sri posted on 5/9/20
We miss you Dr. Slator. My deepest condolences for your family. May your soul rest in peace.
Mark Clark posted on 5/9/20
Rita & Family, I’m sorry to hear of Brian’s passing. Brian was well respected and well liked across NDSU’s community. Jacob & Katie have fond memories of their time with you and getting to know Brian through you – we still have the Batman cap he gave Jacob all those years ago. We are so sad for your loss.
Ken Magel posted on 5/9/20
In memory of Brian M. Slator, Ken Magel lit a candle
Ken Magel posted on 5/9/20
Brian made my life richer. I feel poorer that he is no longer with us. He was a great colleague for most of three decades. I used to treasure our brief conversations at Fargo Brewing Company on Tuesday evenings.
Kevin McCaul posted on 5/9/20
Brian was a true renaissance man–a delightful conversationalist smart enough to persuade me about almost anything. Most importantly, he tried to support everyone as much as possible, especially in his role as department chair. He truly cared about doing the best for his “peeps” and the department. We will all miss him.
Melissa Selders-Ortez posted on 5/9/20
My deepest sympathy to your family. Brian was a such a good person. He will be missed at NSDU.
Anna Tuohy Halligan posted on 5/9/20
In memory of Brian M. Slator, Anna Tuohy Halligan lit a candle
Anna Tuohy Halligan posted on 5/9/20
Receive Brian’s soul oh Lord, and present him to our God most high. Heartfelt sympathy to Brian’s wife Rita, his children, grandchildren, his Mom, Kevin, Nancy and all his family. May his gentle soul Rest in Peace. Loved too much to be forgotten !
Katie Reindl posted on 5/8/20
Rita and family- I’m so sorry to hear about Brian’s passing. It was a joy to work with him on the NDSU VCell project. He was a passionate educator and creative scholar. He will be missed. Praying you find peace in your sadness. Katie
Paul Howell posted on 5/7/20
Students of NDSU present a memory candle.
Paul Howell posted on 5/7/20
From all the Students in the Engineering and Computer Science Departments that are currently taking classes from Professor Slator. You are an A+ educator and innovative mentor. Thank you. Rest in heavenly acres. 2020 Class NDSU
Arthur Olerud posted on 5/7/20
In memory of Brian M. Slator, Arthur Olerud lit a candle