Joyce was born in Jack County, Texas to Travis and Vista (McCune) Manley. The fifth of six children, she learned early in life to stand up for herself. Joyce was raised in the Grow and Paducah communities of Cottle County, and continued her own family there. She married Ealon Leslie October 29, 1949 in Dunlap. As she told the story, they took a break from picking cotton to get married “and then went back to work” This work ethic continued the rest of her life. Never one to be idle, Joyce held various jobs- the grocery store, the Paducah food locker as a butcher . Joyce and Ealon owned and operated the Mobil service station in Paducah for many years. One of her most favorite, and hardest, jobs was in the lunch room at Paducah schools, from which she retired in 2000. After retirement, Joyce continued to work part time at Seigler’s funeral home. She enjoyed the funeral home because it allowed her to reminisce and visit with old friends.
Joyce and Ealon had one son, Ricky Lynn Leslie. Rick describes his mother as very meek and mild woman.In 1981, Joyce began her most favorite job - being Nanny. Her beloved grandsons, Patrick and Erick, have many memories of Nanny cheering them on while playing sports, hunting, and fishing.
Even more memories were shared around her kitchen table, by family and friends alike. Joyce never let anyone go hungry (or even close to it), She was quick to let you know if you hadn’t had enough. Her favorite pastimes included sitting on the porch telling stories (sometimes scary, sometimes true) with family and friends, going on mountain vacations, and shooting guns with Ealon. Joyce was voted President of the first Paducah Ladies Gun Club. An avid reader, she could finish huge novels in one sitting, and liked to swap books with other readers.
Joyce was preceded in death by her husband, Ealon, parents Travis and Vista Manley and siblings Doug, Everett (Buzz), Leonard, Juanita Costanzo and Erma Hensley. In their later years, Joyce and Erma were next door neighbors and spent their time telling stories over coffee on the front porch, sometimes arguing about the details.
Survivors include son Rick and grandson Patrick of Paducah, grandson Erick and wife Haley of Lubbock, and brother James and wife Kaye Manley of Ennis Tx. most recent joys were great-grandchildren Blakely and Reid Leslie, whom she loved “a bushel and a peck.” Nanny spent hours on the floor making those little ones giggle.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joyce Wanda Leslie, please visit our floral store.