Dr. Leslie Denise Lesicka Paternoster

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Memories & Candles

“I didn't know her for long but house sat for her while she traveled with Nancy! My best summer since moving to NM - think it was her best summer too...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: Mary Schettler - Corrales, NM

“His gentle fun loving spirit inspired and taught so many of us. We love and miss you Leslie and will see you soon. ”
2 of 4 | Posted by: George Langan - Austin, TX

“Thank You, Leslie, for teaching, and encouraging your Nursing students to excel. You have been a mentor to many, and a cherished friend. Thank You...Read More »
3 of 4 | Posted by: Joseph and Kathy Martin - NV

“What a tremendous inspiration she was during nursing school. My condolences to her family. Rest In Peace Dr. Paternoster ”
4 of 4 | Posted by: Gwendolyn DeBusk - Morton, TX


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Dr. Leslie Denise Lesicka Paternoster peacefully took her last breath at the hand of ALS on Saturday December 15, 2018. A Memorial will take place July 13, 2019 at The Shores Community Clubhouse (1 Lakeshore Dr. Albuquerque 87112) at 3 pm.

She is survived by her son Benjamin Shumate, his wife Tracy and their daughter Julianna, siblings Jesse Lesicka, Frank Lesicka and Louise Foster along with their spouses and extended family. Leslie was preceded in death by her parents Milton Sr. and Jessie Lesicka, her brother Milton and sister Michelle.

Dr. Paternoster received an associate degree from Clovis Community College, a bachelor's in nursing from ENMU in 1994, a master's in nursing education from West Texas A&M in 1997, and a Doctorate of Education from New Mexico State University in 2006. "I was one of the first graduates of ENMU's BSN program; there were eight in my class," she said. "I was here when the program started and am the director now, so I've seen it all."

She loved to travel and during her 15-day trip to China, she visited Tiananmen Square and was told not to look the guards in the eye. She said South Korea was more like America. "I never had the desire to go to Europe. I wanted to experience totally different cultures," said Dr. Paternoster, who was intrigued by the lifestyles she saw in Hong Kong.

Since retiring from the College of Education at ENMU, Leslie moved to Libby, MT to live with Ben and his family. They shared a beautiful home outside Libby surrounded by majestic mountains and near the Kootenai River where they had a few years to enjoy their family time. Leslie also married her long time love, Tom Harris who followed her to Montana and completed her loving circle.