Rita Loree Jernigan Leslie

September 2, 1941 – September 22, 2020

Rita Loree Jernigan Leslie passed away Tuesday September 22, 2020. She was born Tuesday, September 2, 1941. Loree was the only daughter of Robert Ercle (John) Jernigan Sr. and Edna Elizabeth Tabor Jernigan.

She is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Robert (Bob) Leslie of Conway. Her children John Leslie, Beth Leslie Andrews (Mark) both of Conway. Her grandchildren, Tabor Lee Andrews, Orion Teague Leslie, Gregory Ward Andrews, Christopher Thompson Andrews, and Caroline Elizabeth Andrews, all of Conway. Her brother Robert Ercle (Robin) Jernigan Jr of Benton, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Loree attended school at the U of A in Monticello AR, where she was a cheerleader. She graduated from Henderson State University receiving Bachelor of Science in education. She then attended the U of A at Fayetteville to earn her master’s degree in secondary education and she attended Vanderbilt University for a Ph.D. in education psychology (dissertation not complete).

Loree came from a long line of educators, she continued that tradition by teaching at the U of A, UALR, UCA continuing education, and Webster’s University. During her career she held positions with Arkansas PBS, Acxiom, Express Human Resources, Achieve Global International, and Development Associate Inc.

Loree was a member of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, the St Joseph Catholic church, Delta Kappa Gamma, the order of the Eastern Star, and Faulkner County Masters Gardeners.
Loree gave 110[[][%]] to everything she did. She was and an over achiever. She became a Master Corporate Trainer, a Master gardener, and her cooking skills would give Justin Wilson’s a run for his money. She was the ultimate southern hostess.

Loree loved spending time with her family. Her home was the center of the family life. She loved entertaining and throwing lavish parties. She always welcomed any visitor with a delicious homemade dessert and a warm cup of coffee. One of her favorite activities was sitting on her back-porch swing looking out at her incredible botanical garden. She enjoyed reading, music, movies and keeping in touch with her extended family in Louisiana.

Her family would like to thank everyone for the good thoughts and prayers during our time of loss.

Memorials can be made to the CARTI foundation (CARTI.com)

A celebration and Thanksgiving for her life will be held at Roller McNutt funeral home in Conway. Visitation will be from 12pm to 2pm Saturday, September 26, 2020 with service following at 2pm. A graveside service will be held at a later date at Shiloh cemetery, Bernice Louisiana.

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