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Nina Marie (Rickard) Leshley
May 16, 1934 ~ July 14, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Our mother, Nina Marie Rickard Leshley, was born on May 16, 1934. She died in Augusta, KS, on July 14, 2023, at 89.
She was one of six children born to Perry and Estelle Rickard in rural Sedgwick County, KS, and spent her early years on a farm. As a student at Valley Center (KS) High School, she was active in the band as a trombone player and on the cheerleader squad.
Following graduation, she married Wallace Leshley and started our family in the Wichita, KS area. After relocating to Jasper County IL, she was a full-time mom for many years, managing school and activities for eight kids and working the farm. She ensured we kept our family connections with regular trips to Kansas for family reunions.
Mom went back to school later in life and became an EMT, working for the local Ambulance service, and was the on-site medical support during the construction of the CIPS power plant. Later she returned to school, receiving her certification in nursing as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She continued working in healthcare at the Leesburg, FL, Regional Medical Center until retirement.
Nina was an avid sports fan of all sports but fiercely loyal to the St. Louis Cardinals, KU Jayhawks, and everything NASCAR, even following the NASCAR circuit for several years as a sunglasses vendor to be close to the action. This activity allowed her to meet some of her favorite drivers and other sports personalities, whom she greatly admired.
Mom and Dad spent several years traveling the country, managing campsites for the Army Corps of Engineers. Mom boasted of visiting every state in the Continental United States. But they fell in love with J. Strom Thurmond Lake in South Carolina and eventually settled in the small town of Modoc.
Following Dad’s death, she returned to Kansas to be near family and friends.
Our Mom was a friend to everyone she met. She was always ready to have a good time and might have even had a rebellious streak. We find comfort in knowing that she is reunited with family, friends, and pets that have gone before her.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Wallace Leshley; parents, Perry and Estelle Rickard; sisters, Rosemary Rickard and Edith Rickard Black; brother Leonard Rickard; son Greg Leshley; granddaughter Elizabeth Leshley; daughters-in-law, Cheryl Madison Leshley and Mary Faught Miller; four-legged friends Lucy and Lady.
She is survived by a sister, Carol Rickard Allen (Bob) of Victoria, TX; a brother, Charles Rickard of Green Valley, AZ; sons Hugh Leshley of Augusta, KS, Mark Leshley (Sara) of Bremerton, WA, and Kurt Leshley (Bridgette) of Newton, IL; daughters Lori Leshley of Fayetteville, NC, Lisa Edwards (Bruce) of Leesburg FL, Nancy Leshley of Fort Myers, FL, and Dana Leshley (Allen Plunk) of Fort Pierce, FL; 14 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Mom would not want us to be sad about our loss but to remember the good times we had with her and honor the things she loved. The family will gather for a private graveside service at the Kechi, KS Cemetery, on August 20, 2023. Later that day, we will greet friends between 1 and 5 pm to celebrate her life at the Park City, KS Community Center. If you cannot join us that day, have a slice of Key Lime Pie, shout, “Rock-chalk Jayhawk!” and remember our Mom. Donations may be made in her memory to your local Humane Society.