LEAST WE FORGET. . .

We go through life mostly living in the present with a gratuitous glance at our our past.  This page was designed with the purpose to remind us that "least we forget" about those who have helped shape our character, we may return here to reabsorb the memories they have left us.  This is both a remembrance & a tribute to the people who defined who we are as individuals and as a family.  Our family would not be what it is today were it not for who went before us as examples both in faith & in character.  It is our family.  It is our future.

Billie Marie Leslie | June 20, 1931 - April 4, 2000

On April 4, at about 11:30am EDT, our Mom, Billie Marie Leslie, passed away as a result from the breast cancer which was first discovered in 1978. She spent her last days with Joanna, Tom, Caleb, & John Pferfer & my Dad (Billy Dale Leslie) in the hospice care of Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, OH.

 

She was returned to be laid to rest at Oak HIll Cemetary in Booneville, AR following a memorial service at the First Baptist Church, Friday at 10am. The Roberts Funeral Home in Booneville was in charge of arrangements.

 

Mom would have turned 69 on June 20, 2000. 

 

She would have celebrated her devotion to my Dad for 45 years on May 5, 2000.

 

She left this life in peace, with no discomfort or pain, surrounded by those she loved. She was a champion of survival throughout her battle with breast cancer.

 

Read a copy of the newspaper article written in memory of Billie Marie Leslie for the Booneville Democrat in observance of the 20th Anniversary of the American Cancer Society South Logan County Chapter's "Relay For Life" event held in April, 2005. 

 

BILLIE MARIE LESLIE RELAY FOR LIFE ARTICLE

Billy Dale Leslie | September 26, 1932 - May 26, 2003

Billy Dale Leslie passed away at around 4:40pm in a Chicago, IL, nursing home at the age of 70 years, after suffering the effects of Alzheimer's Disease & pneumonia. At the time of his death, he was living near his daughter's home in Round Lake, IL.  He was born in Bingen, AR (Near Nashville) but lived in Booneville for over 50 years, first as a tuberculosis patient who was admitted to the Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanitorium.  He was among many of the first patients to receive a new breakthrough drug which cured him of this dreaded disease.  

 

On May 5, 1955 he married Billie Marie (McKinney) Leslie, who predeceased him on April 4, 2000.

 

He later became a Licensed Public Accountant in Booneville, establishing his first practice after being discharged from the Sanitorium.  He was the owner of "Leslie Accounting & Tax Service" which later became "Billy Dale Leslie, Public Accountant".  After his practice was established for several year in Booneville, he then opened up a second office in Berryville, AR where for a,  period of time, worked in partnership with Gordon Carr under the practice of "Leslie-Carr Accounting & Tax Service".  He was an active member of the Arkansas Society of Public Accountants and the American Society of Public Accountants & attended annual state educational seminars to remain current on new tax laws.  Upon retirement, he sold both the Berryville practice as well as his office in Booneville.

 

He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Booneville where he served for many years as the church treasurer and in the office of Deacon.  Additionally, he was also actively involved in the church's Sunday School program & church choir. He was a former member of the Booneville Rotary Club and the recipient of the Rotary "Paul Harris Fellow" award.  "Billy Dale" was an active member of his community & a businessman of the highest integrity.  While tuberculosis prevented him from serving in the military, he was involved with numerous charitable organizations including the American Red Cross where he was a frequent blood donor and volunteered time to contact family members of servicemen & women concerning emergency messages from their loved ones overseas.  He also was a member of the First Western (then Citizen's) Bank Executive Board of Directors for many years and one of the founding members of the Booneville Jaycees.  He was active for many years in the Booneville Industrial Development Corporation/Chamber of Commerce and also served on the committee that established a new reservoir for the Booneville Water Department.  While there are many who remember him as their accountant and/or bookeeper, countless others remember him as the Executive Director of the Booneville Housing Authority where he also worked in that capacity for many years.

 

A funeral service was held at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 31, 2003 at the First Baptist Church in Booneville with his nephew, Rev. Charles Leslie, officiating.  The eulogy was delivered by Mr. Jerral Hampton, personal friend & former CEO of First Western Bank.  A tribute & musical selection was offered by longtime family friend, "Skip" Wofford of First Baptist Church of Ozark.  He was then buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Booneville alongside his wife. The Roberts Funeral Home of Booneville was in charge of the arrangements.

 

He is survived by one daughter, Joanna Pfeufer of Round Lake, IL.; one son, Phil Leslie of St. Marys, PA.; his mother, Ruby McDaniel of Magnolia; one sister, Margaret Relph of Clovis, Calif.; two brothers, Joe Leslie of Magnolia and John Leslie of McNeil; and four grandchildren (John & Caleb Pfeufer, Daniel & Cameron Leslie).

 

Pallbearers were James Leslie, John Leslie, Jr., Bob Harris, Joe Earp, Dell Nelson and Gary Leslie. Honorary pallbearers were members of the Booneville Rotary Club.

 

Memorial contributions can be sent to the Adult Choir or Church Library of the First Baptist Church, PO Box 328, 382 North Kennedy St., Booneville, AR 72927

 

Here is the message outline Rev. Charles Leslie used when he delivered his sermon.  It is based on Dad's favorite passage of Scripture.

At the graveside service, Rev. Leslie read a poem which was appropriate for the life my dad lived & how we should live our lives in his memory:

 

He is Gone

--Anonymous 
 

You can shed tears that he is gone,

Or you can smile because he lived,

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,

Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

 

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him,

Or you can be full of the love that you shared,

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,

Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

 

You can remember him and only that he is gone,

Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,

You can cry and close your mind be empty and turn your back,

Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

 

 

This song was performed by Dad's son-in-law Tom Pfeufer at his memorial service:

 

Fly

Thomas J. Pfeufer Jr - December, 1989

 

So you're gone, out of sight

You have boarded a home-bound flight

I'll miss you much, wish you could stay

But you were born just for this day

Unfurl your wings and beautify

Like an eagle across the sky

 

Fly, fly, fly to your new home in the sky

Fly, fly, fly - spread your wings and fly

 

A baby laughs, I share the smile

It makes me think of you a while

And I know you're in His hands 

Now that you've been born again

Extend your wings and glorify 

Like an eagle across the sky

 

Fly, fly, fly to your new home in the sky

Fly, fly, fly - spread your wings and fly 

 

And now you'll be gracefull and free

Your spirit soars above the trees

The pain is gone, your work is done

Your new life has just begun

You earned the flight, and now you've flown

Congratulations - you've made it home

 

 

Tom also wrote & performed this song at Mom's funeral which is a living memorial to the lives they lived.

 

Billy & Billie 

Thomas J. Pfeufer Jr - April 4, 2000

 

Billy Dale met Billie Marie at the Sanitorium 

By coincidence they both had T.B. and that's how she came to know him

Even though there was no cure, determined to beat the odds

Together they held on to hope 'cause they knew their lives were God's

 

And one day a miracle came with an unpronouncable name

 

And I've learned how fragile life can be from Billy Dale and Billie Marie

Their life is like a simple rhyme, just each other and time

And that's all they need, Billy and Billie

 

Crunching numbers night and day, his daily way of life

She stands by him - secretary, best friend and wife

Doctor says it's such a risk for her to give birth

They feel the price is high enough for what the risk is worth

 

And one day a miracle came and Phillip was his name

 

And he learned how fragile life can be from Billy Dale and Billie Marie

Their life is like a simple rhyme, a family and time

And that's all they need, Billy and Billie

 

Cancer caught her twice before she the beat the odds again

With the Lord Above, her husband's love and two beautiful children

Years fly by, laughter fades, stillness fills the air

He holds her hand, kisses her face, and gently strokes her hair

 

A miracle came that day when she spread her wings and flew away

 

And we learned how fragile life can be from Billy Dale and Billie Marie

Their life was like a simple rhyme, it just ran out of time

They were stronger together and completed each other<

They gave me my wife and became my father and mother

 

And that's the story of Billy and Billie

 

This was a real life love story of a man & woman who loved each other, their family and their Lord. 

William Phillip Garrison | September 11, 1923 - November 2, 2003

William P. Garrison, 80, of Hobe Sound, FL passed away, Sunday, November 3, 2003 at his home.

 

He was born on September 11, 1923 in Jersey City, NJ.

 

Mr. Garrison was a mechanic machinist for Public Service Electric & Gas co. for more than 38 years before retiring in 1980.  After retirement, he worked for Hyatt Roller Bearing in Clarke, NJ for 5 years.  He was on the start up crew for Public Service and was intrumental in starting the Seward (NJ) Generating Station in 1956.

 

Mr. Garrison served in the Navy during WWII.  He served on the USS Tillman in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, as well as serving on the USS Cross in the South Pacific.

 

He was a 50 year member and Past Patron of Pearl Chapter, Order of Easter Star in Dover, NJ, and a 55 year member and Past Master of Atlas Pythagoras #10, and Secaucus-Hudson Lodge #72 F&AM.  He was also a member of the Elks Lodge of Jupiter, FL and the VFW of Hobe Sound, FL and Martinsville, NJ.

 

His brother, Calvin Garrison, predecesed him.

 

He is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Lois B. Garrison of Hobe Sound, FL;  two daughters, Laura Leslie of St. Marys, PA and Dawn Garrison of Raleigh, NC;  a son, William Edward Garrison of Annandale, NJ;  his son-in-law, Phil Leslie and a daughter-in-law, Christine L. Garrison;  seven grandchildren, Elizabeth, Laura & Garrison Thabet, William Edward Garrison, Jr., Timothy Garrison, and Cameron and Daniel Leslie;  two sisters, Cecilla Hnida of Wisconsin and Helen Dyke and her husband William of South Plainfield, NJ and his brother, Arthur G. Garrison and his wife Helen of Hazlet, NJ;  there are several neices and nephews.<br><br>The Young & Prill Funeral Home of Stuart, FL was in charge of the arrangements where a Masonic and Order of Eastern Star service was held.

 

Funeral Services were held at 10:00am on Friday, November 7, in the Young & Prill Funeral Home Chapel in Stuart, FL.

 

Those who wish to make expressions of symmpathy may do so by donating to the Pine Bush Bible Camp, P.O. Box 764, New Providence, NJ 07974 or Hospice of Martin & St. Lucie, Inc., 1201 SE Indian Street, Stuart, FL 34997.

Ruby Jewel McDaniel | April 17, 1907 - June 16, 2006

Ruby Jewel McDaniel, 99, of Magnolia, formerly of Booneville, AR, died Friday, June 16, 2006, at a Magnolia hospital. She was born April 17, 1907, at Murfreesboro, AR, the daughter of the late Thomas and Canna Ruth Bradford.

 

She was a member of the College View Baptist Church in Magnolia, AR.

 

Mrs. McDaniel was preceded in death by her three husbands, two sons, four brothers and her step-mother, Lucy Bradford.

 

She is survived by two sons, Joe Leslie and wife, Laverne, of Magnolia, AR and John Leslie of McNeil, AR; one daughter, Margaret Ralph and husband, Jim of Clovis, CA; four brothers, Edwin Bradford of Wake Village, TX, Larkin Bradford of Kountyer, TX, J.L. Bradford of Nashville, AR and R.V. Bradford of Nashville, AR; four sisters, Shirley Bradford of Nashville, AR, Betty Kihodeaux of Beaumont, TX, Linda Hockaday of Nashville, AR and Patsey Whitehead of Texarkana, AR; fifteen brandchildren; twenty-three great-grandchildren; six great-great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews and a host of friends.

 

Services are scheduled for 2:00 P.M., Monday, June 19, at Latimer Funeral Home Chapel, with Bros. Richard Walters and Charles Leslie officiating, burial in Ozan Cemetery, Bingen, under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.

 

The family received friends at the funeral home on Sunday, June 18, from 3:00 - 6:00 P.M. 

 

Grandma Ruby was not overly "spiritual", but she was spirited. She respected & honored her Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, but she didn't rub Him into anyone else's face. She enjoyed a good glass of home made muskidine wine as much as she enjoyed making the wild cherry jelly from the dozens of quarts of cherries I had picked while climbing in the trees near my house as a boy. She could tell & would enjoy hearing any joke that had just a slight tinge of "blue"...but none that were too coarse. And you could always feel free to make any comments about her "big butt" or about her being an "old fart" without any fear of offending her.Grandma Ruby spent a lot of her time laughing, too. Sometimes she would laugh at inappropriate times & try to gain her composure back before smiling & sweetly saying, "I'm sorry...". Grandma Ruby would always find something funny about most every situation in life.  Grandma Ruby entered into Heaven's Gates laughinig.  She had just turned 99 years old. And now, God is laughing, too.  Webster's Dictionary says a legacy is "something handed down from one who has gone before." What kind of legacy are you building? Well, no matter how hard you work or how much money you make, your lasting legacy won't be the material things you leave behind. What will last is the kind of relationship you have with your kids. It will directly affect not only your children, but generations to come. So give them what the years cannot take away -- the legacy of your time, your love, your self.  Grandma Ruby left a legacy all right. She left a legacy that taught we should never take everything too seriously. To leave room for laughter. Grandma had a relationship with her kids & her grandkids that was sprinkled full of love & laughter.

Chris Christian penned words in a song that will serve as the ideal description of our parents & a challenge to us left on this earth to take time to appreciate them not just at the end of their lives, but all our lives.

 

Love Them While We Can 

 

They tied our shoes, took us to school 

Patched our worn out jeans. 

They soothed our tears and childish fears

And listened to our dreams 

 

Somewhere along their golden years 

Their hair has lost its sheen 

The notes of Hymn 110 crackle when they sing. 

Now they are alone 

No children's voices 

Filling up their home 

 

The folks that taught us our first words 

Still have much to say 

The silver secrets of this world 

Lie beneath those crowns of gray 

As they approach the end 

We change our role 

From children to best friend 

 

We always thought they'd be around 

'til the end of time 

'til one day we wake and find... 

 

We must love them 

Love them while we can. 

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