Lesley Howard Packard, 64, of Gansevoort, NY, passed away peacefully on June 22, 2021 at home surrounded by her loving family.
Lesley was born to Alyce Faye Fishel and Clark Avalon Howard in Portsmouth VA on September 24, 1956. The family, including big brother Steve, moved to the Adirondacks when Lesley was too little to have any connection to anyplace else, and she lived her life with a devotion to the north country.
Lesley spent her growing-up years in the Lake Placid/Wilmington region, attending Lake Placid Central School, from which she graduated in 1974. She continued her education at SUNY Plattsburgh, earning her bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science in 1978. Little did she anticipate how helpful all the psychology and sociology coursework would be as she shaped her life's work in teaching. Following a handful of work experiences related to the education and training of disabled individuals, Lesley was fortunate to go through a magical door into her 22 year career as a teaching assistant with the Hudson Falls Central School District. For 19 years she, according to many of her students, was "the computer teacher" at the Intermediate School. Even after health problems forced the issue of her retirement, she continued to be involved, albeit indirectly, with supporting education even as it was redefined by the restrictions of Covid-19.
Lesley successfully waged multiple skirmishes over the course of a 8 year war against ovarian cancer which began in the spring of 2013. It is enormously due to the competency and dedication of her oncology team at Women's Cancer Care Associates that she was able to prevail as successfully and as long as she did. The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Godoy and her staff for their unflagging energy and compassion which made a huge difference in how well Lesley weathered all of her treatments. Lesley's family also extends their appreciation and gratitude to the Saratoga Community Hospice Program. They would like to recognize in particular the dedication and compassion of Karen Buczkowski and Kelli Foley during the past year of supporting Lesley on her continued journey.
Family was everything to Lesley, whether connected by blood, or law, or the splicing together of another branch. She is survived by her husband of 42":) long miserable years :)" Brian; their daughters, Jessica Walton (Ryan), and Jaime Shaw (Hulen Martin). Cherished grandchildren: Madison Shaw, Catherine Walton, Mia Shaw, Adam Martin and Jonathan Martin.
The continued list of survivors includes Scott Avery, Clark "Steve" Howard, Theresa Avery and Mary Pelkey, all of Wilmington, NY. Brian's family: Rowena Packard, Christine (Dewaine) Aldrich, all of Bath, NY, Jeffrey Packard (Debra Smith) of Phoenix, NY, and Kathryn (Lon) Schmouder of Liberty, PA. Completing the extended family are nieces Bethanny Smith-Packard (Matt Christy) of Hershey, PA; Meghann Smith-Packard (Alex Honrahan) of Auburn, NY, nephews Steven (Rachael) and Colin Schmouder of Liberty, and finally, Carol Howard Culberson and Robin Howard, both of Florida. Lesley was predeceased by grandparents: Clark and Alice Howard, of Jay NY, Herman and Thelma Fishel, of Portsmouth VA, as well as Mildred McLean of Gansevoort NY.
For those who wish to make one, memorial donation recipients that might be considered would include the American Cancer Society, Rays of Hope and Caring Together of Latham, the ASPCA, or the community support program of one's choice.
In celebration of Lesley's life family and friends may call from 1 pm to 3 pm on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at Compassionate Funeral Care, 402 Maple Ave. (Rte 9 and/or Marion Ave.), Saratoga Springs, NY.
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