On Thanksgiving Day, November, 22nd 1960, a beautiful baby girl with twinkling eyes was born at St. Bernadine’s hospital in San Bernardino California. Her delighted parents, Penny and Real Williams named her Mary Rachelle, Lesli Eva Williams. Although taken too soon due to reoccurring cancer, she fought valiantly and spent her final days comforting her family and friends with her kind heart and amazing sense of humor.
After 30 successful years as a hair stylist in Big Bear Lake, Lesli moved to San Jose, CA in 2009 where she pursued her passion for cooking by earning a professional chef certification. She returned to southern California in 2014 and found a great community of friends in Chino Hills, CA.
Lesli was well known for her love of animals and all living creatures. Even as a small girl, she would coax insects onto a piece of paper and gently return them outdoors. Her beautiful German Shepard, Maverick was her constant companion for over 13 years and brought her many moments of joy. He now resides with her sister’s family that includes Lesli’s 13-year-old nephew, Bryce and his two new dog brothers named Toby and Lucky.
As an amateur decorator, Lesli had a gift for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. With just sticks and stones she could transform a shack into a castle. Her talent for creating beautiful, peaceful spaces enabled her to spend time doing her favorite things. One of her very favorites was reading. She loved books of all kinds from a variety of authors such as Stephen King, John Grisham, Larry McMurtry and James Herriot. She often read two and three books a week, one of which was the The Third Reich at just 13 years old.
Travel was another of Lesli’s passions. She visited the Hawaii Islands, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Nicaragua (a favorite). On several occasions, she and her family visited her father’s birthplace in the province of Quebec Canada where she was able to visit her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Lesli and her mom also shared a memorable trip to the United Kingdom in the 1980s. They visited Plymouth, Stonehenge, Stratford-upon-Avon, London and York (James Herriot country). They also traveled to Scotland, the royal fairgrounds in Coventry and enjoyed a private tour through a Jaguar factory… planes, trains and automobiles…
Lesli is survived by her mother, Penny Williams, sisters, Joyce Reichel, Susan Hakiman and Devon Benson, her nephew, Bryce Benson, her Aunties, Marilyn Miller and Cindy Greenslade and many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.
Throughout her life, Lesli was both spirited and spiritual. Rather than fear, she expressed genuine curiosity about the afterlife. She was brave and we will do our best to follow her lead and feel her presence in all the bright and beautiful things life has to offer.
Memorial Service to be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 9th at Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills, CA.15656 Yorba Ave, Chino Hills, CA 91709. 909-597-1769