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Nancy Lees Lesslie

January 23, 1944 February 10, 2019
Nancy Lees Lesslie
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Obituary for Nancy Lees Lesslie

Nancy Lees Lesslie, age 75, a resident of Oak Ridge and Knoxville since 1967, passed into the arms of her Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. She faithfully loved and served her Savior when He reached out and drew her to Him on Sunday morning, February 10, 2019.

She was a Sunday School teacher, helped lead junior church, and was an ordained elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian church. She was devoted to studying God's word through Bible Study Fellowship and was an active member of the Covenant Sunday School class since joining Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in 1993.

Nancy was born in Miami, FL on January 23, 1944. While still quite young, her family moved to Mobile, AL where she eventually graduated from Murphy High School and then Alabama College where she majored in Social Work and Child Development.

In December 1964, she met her future husband Peter while viewing a picture of a hiccup at a student quadrennial in Richmond, VA. On March 18, 1967 they married and have spent almost 52 blessed years together.

Nancy began her professional career as a Social Worker for the State of Tennessee. When she and Peter decided to have children, she chose to be a stay-at-home and a "granola" Mom (as dubbed by her kids). As her children grew older, she began working with preschool children and cherished every morning when the three year olds ran up and gave "Miss Nancy" a hug. In 1991 a committee had been formed to select and hire a director for a new office for Bethany Christian Services, a licensed adoptive agency based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Nancy was selected, and the new Knoxville office began on her kitchen table. For 19 years she touched hundreds of lives through domestic, international, and embryo adoptions. When Peter retired, she decided to retire as well. For a few years after retirement she consulted with National Embryo Donation Center and helped write policies and procedures for embryo adoption.

Nancy loved to travel. This began before children were born and continued until her illnesses prevented further travel. She was devoted to her husband and children and organized annual beach trips. Perhaps her greatest joy was Cousin's Camp and the fun time with grandkids. Whether it was chalk drawings on a sidewalk, feeding buffalo, exploring a heritage museum, riding a paddle wheeler on the Tennessee River, or riding in a limousine for ice cream, every year Cousin's Camp had a new theme with a new colorful tee shirt and surprises.

Yet her one, never wavering, devotion was to her Lord. She studied His word faithfully and strived to learn more and come closer to Him. His presence was a part of her life whether with her job, her friends, or her family. She continually said, "I look forward to being with Jesus, having a glorified body, and singing in the heavenly choir".

Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, James and Ada Lees, and her sister Cathy Smith. She is survived by her husband, Peter, son Denton (wife Lori, their children Will and Hollie), daughter Gretel Russell (husband Stephen, their children Molly, Denton, Ashby, and Caroline), sisters Gayle Sandlin (husband Dennis), Janet Lambard, Laura Wallace (husband James (affectionately known as Jabo)), brother Tom Lees (wife Gloria), and a host of nieces and nephews.

We wish to extend a profound thank you to Shanda and the entire Covenant Hospice staff who reached out to us, engaged us, and provided extraordinary professional and comfort care. Everyone was truly amazing.

A Celebration of Nancy's life will be held at 1:30 on February 23, 2019 at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in the chapel. The family will receive friends following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Bethany Christian Services, 318 Erin Drive, Suite 10, Knoxville, TN 37919-6212.


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Previous Events

Celebration of Life

Saturday

23

Feb

1:30 PM 2/23/2019 1:30:00 PM
Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church

9132 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, Tennessee 37923

Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church
9132 Kingston Pike Knoxville 37923 Tennessee
United States

Visitation

Saturday

23

Feb

2:30 PM 2/23/2019 2:30:00 PM
Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church

9132 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, Tennessee 37923

Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church
9132 Kingston Pike Knoxville 37923 Tennessee
United States
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