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Obituary: Barbara M. Leslie

Barbara M. Leslie
Barbara M. Leslie, a native and lifelong New Yorker known to friends and family as “Bobby,” passed away on Aug. 29, 2010 at the age of 86. Wife of 60 years to the late Seymour “Cy” Leslie and daughter of the late Florence and George Miller, Bobby is survived by her sister Sally (Larry); loving daughters, Ellen, Janie and Carol; her admiring grandchildren, Julie (Dan), David (Ariana), Sara (Jeff) and Ben; and her adoring great-grandchildren, Jack and William.

Bobby was a dedicated philanthropist and devoted advocate for world peace and equality, whose work on behalf of international women’s rights were the focus of her extensive volunteer career. After serving as president of a local National Council of Jewish Women’s chapter, Bobby became a non-governmental observer at the United Nations, where she most notably served as a delegate to the 1980 Mid-Decade Conference for Women in Copenhagen and the 1985 End-Decade Conference in Nairobi, and later represented the ICJW at the NGO Forum on Women at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Bobby traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad, speaking to groups about the urgent need to improve the status of women worldwide.

Born in Manhattan and raised in Woodmere, NY, where she and Cy also raised her family and lived for the rest of her life, Bobby was the quintessential matriarch and the ultimate example of class. Aside from creating a home filled with strong family values and irresistible kitchen aromas, Bobby became a passionate sportswoman, playing golf, tennis and lifting weights well into her 80s and will always be remembered for her unique ability to charm a crowd with her piano or defeat the Times’ weekend crossword puzzles with ease.

Bobby received her BS in business administration from Syracuse University and later pursued a post-graduate degree in sociology at Adelphi University. One of Bobby’s most prized accomplishments, though, came much later in life when she finally achieved her Bat Mitzvah, a true tribute to her dedication and appreciation for her religious heritage.

Along with her loving husband, Cy, Bobby was dedicated to local causes and was a firm supporter of world peace and human equality. Together, they were active in B’nai B’rith and the Anti Defamation League and were founding members of the JCC of the Greater Five Towns.

Bobby will be remembered as a woman of integrity, loyalty and passion, and as a woman who gave back and lived life to the fullest. Contributions may be made to the JCC of Greater Five Towns, 207 Grove Ave., Cedarhurst, NY 11596 or the National Council of Jewish Women, 475 Riverside Dr., Suite 1901, New York, NY 10115, 212-645-4048. Services were held on Aug. 29 at Riverside-Nassau North Chapel, Great Neck.