Leslie's Story

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Leslie Joan Ryan passed into Glory on Aug. 26, 2016. Though her hard-fought battle with cancer sent her to Heaven earlier than planned, Joan lived a vibrant life and leaves behind a legacy of faith, laughter and love.
Joan was known by most for her sense of humor, never missing an opportunity for well-placed witty commentary. She found great joy and serenity in nature, always making time to appreciate the beauty of Gods creation. She always stopped and smelled the roses. That love for nature led into decades of gardening, her back yard always an exquisite mix of colorful flowers, fragrant herbs and her favorite fresh veggies. When her gardening was done for the day, Joan delighted in long hikes with friends and bike rides alongside her loving husband, always looking for an opportunity to take advantage of the scenery at nearby state and local parks. Though neither possessing special talent for dancing or singing, she was known to enjoy both frequently and with great gusto. Joan was fiercely devoted to her family and friends, never missing an opportunity to share an encouraging word or lend a listening ear.
A writer at heart, Joan enjoyed painting a picture for those around her with eloquent descriptions of what she observedthe changing of the seasons, adventures out West to explore national parks, and humorous happenings in her life. Although she began her career as a nurse, Joan transitioned to a full-time mother when her twin daughters were born in 1986. Over the years, Joan loved her daughters boundlessly and as they grew up always took opportunities to expose the daughters to cultural and community events, create works of art together, and encouraged them to develop their own sense of independence. After they began kindergarten, Joan discovered a passion for the classroom as a volunteer at her daughters school. Several years into her volunteering, Joan landed a job as a teachers aide, where she relished the opportunity to watch children learn and grow in their understanding of the world around them.
After more than a decade working in Clarksville schools, Joan returned to college and in 2012 graduated summa cum laude from Austin Peay State University with her degree in elementary education. Her unique career pathfrom nurse to volunteer to educatorwas a demonstration of her love of service. Joan had a deep passion for helping others and was dedicated to bettering the world around her.
Joan was a member of First Baptist Church in Clarksville. Her deep faith in God brought Joan great joy and peace, even through lifes tribulations. She trusted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and today is rejoicing in the everlasting arms of God.
Joan is survived by her husband, Joel Ryan, of Clarksville; daughter Jennifer and husband Maj. Elijah Ward of Seoul, South Korea, along with their son, Samuel; daughter Stephanie and husband Steven Malin of Baton Rouge, LA; mother, Jeannette Warner; father, Bill Warner and stepmother Peggy; sisters, Cherry Daugherty, Carla Devine and Holly and her husband Steve Hill; brother, Russ Warner and wife Laura; in-laws, Sam and Donna Ryan; sister-in-law, Karen Ryan; and aunt-in-law, Elizabeth Denton and a multitude of loving aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors and church family.
Published on August 30, 2016
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