"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal" - Irish Blessing
Leslie Ann Bienz , 70, of Charleston, South Carolina, passed away with peace and grace on July 14 at home surrounded by her family.
Leslie is survived by her daughter Jenna Bienz-McIntire and son-in-law Tui McIntire of Charleston. Sisters: Phoenix M.C. Ray (Allen Grant), Christine Jennings and M.Joyce Lane (Walter). Grandsons Arroyn A.C. McIntire and Quillion R.I. McIntire. Nieces and Nephews: Shelly Lindahl, Annie Jennings, Bo Jennings (Bayli Cook), Steffon Green, Jessica Smith (Paul Koronkiewicz), and Gabriel Valentine (Nikki Klein).
She was preceded in death by her mother Barbara H. Ray, her father John Ray and her former husband Craig E. Bienz.
Leslie was born in Columbia City, Indiana in October 1946. She graduated from North Side High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1964. She worked for different Allen County Government offices starting after graduation until she retired in 1991. She moved to Charleston,, South Carolina in 1999.
A great passion of Leslie's was working in the local Theatre scene in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She gave her time to The Civic Theatre and Arena Dinner Theatre. She served on the Board of Directors for Arena for many years, as well as costume designer, seamstress, director, producer and lifelong patron of the ARTS.
Leslie will also be remembered as a true artist. Mastering any craft or art project that she set her hands upon. She loved to paint, and sketch and illustrate cards and stories. She also loved to bead and make jewelry.
Throughout her life, Leslie was kind and had a huge open heart and outstretched arms. She was a surrogate mom to so many kids from broken or dysfunctional homes. She opened her door and her heart to any kid that needed her. Her Thanksgivings were legendary...with everyone pitching in to cook and laugh and to be a part of something bigger than life. Her kids were always in her heart and helped to shape her open mindedness and all encompassing love and acceptance. No matter how grown up they were, they were still her "kids". As much as she might have influenced them, they changed her life forever, always being surrounded by their love. In all of our hearts and through our actions, se will live on forever. ("Kids": James, Angie, Adrienne, Brian, Jessica, Kate and so many more)
"Do not stand at my grave and weep" by Mary Elizabeth Frye
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there...I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow...
I am the diamond glints on snow...
I am the sunlight on ripened grain...
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling flight...
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry-
I am not there...I did not die.