By MATT KOESTERS
The Southern Indiana real estate community lost one of its finest leaders on Monday when Suzann Slayton, of Clarksville, died. She was 74.
Slayton leaves behind a husband, three children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, along with a host of government, community and professional organizations that depended on her guidance.
Slayton owned and managed three successful real estate brokerage firms, including a Century 21 franchise. She served for 25 years as the president and CEO of the Southern Indiana Realtors Association.
Tonja Aaron-Wells, who serves as the board chair of the SIRA, first met Slayton when she was getting her start as a Realtor 16 years ago.
“She was as fair with me as a beginning agent as she was with a big mega-agent,” Aaron-Wells said. “Everyone was as important as the next. She was very concerned about the success, quality and service that the board provided to their neighbors.”
Also a past director of the Indiana Association of Realtors, Slayton earned a laundry list of accolades for her work in the industry, including the Indiana Woman Realtor of the Year, the Pinnacle Award from the Louisville Sales and Marketing Association, the Business and Professional Women’s Woman of the Year award and was inducted into the SIRA Hall of Fame.
Slayton represented the real estate community by serving on boards that served the community at large. She held leadership positions with the Arts Council of Southern Indiana, One Southern Indiana, Leadership Southern Indiana, the New Albany-Floyd County School Corporation and the Bridges Authority. Additionally, she served in an advisory capacity with the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, and she was involved in the local government of Clarksville, serving as vice president of the Clarksville Planning and Zoning Commission and as a member of the Clarksville City-Town Committee.
“She was a wonderful person,” said Clarksville Town Council President Bob Polston. “She’ll be missed here in Clarksville, I can tell you that.”
“She had a great insight into the needs of the community and how to deal with zoning matters in the best possible way,” added Clarksville Councilman John Gilkey, who serves as the council’s liaison to the city-town committee.
Slayton’s service to the communities she helped wasn’t limited to their people. Though she didn’t advertise it, Slayton was also a defender of animals, and donated to the New Albany-Floyd County Animal Shelter.
“She was a lady who just liked to stay under the radar,” said David Hall, shelter director. “She would donate. She would collect cans and drop them off here at the shelter.”
A funeral service for Slayton will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at Swarens Funeral Home in Ramsey. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Read her full obituary on page A4 in today’s News and Tribune.