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Leslie Ray Ansley

Dr. Leslie Ray Ansley LUBBOCK-The life of Dr. Leslie Ray Ansley of Lubbock will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at First Christian Church on Friday, Jan. 25, with Dr. David Mindel officiating. Visitation will be at Lake Ridge Chapel on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 5 until 7 p.m. Les died at the University Medical Center on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at the age of 87. The youngest of five children of Samuel Nixon Ansley and Edna Butrill Ansley, Les was born in a Lamesa farmhouse with no electricity on Sept. 12, 1925. He graduated as salutatorian from Klondike High School in 1941. Impressed by the physician who would come to the school to administer shots, Les decided he wanted to become a medical doctor, too. Too poor to attend college, Les didn't expect to get a higher education, but after a stint in the Air Force at the tail-end of World War II, Les was able to attend Texas Tech and later the University of Texas at Austin under the G.I. Bill. During 1947, the inaugural year of the Army ROTC program at UT, Les became Cadet Lt. Colonel, the highest ranking officer in the battalion staff. Prior to graduation, Les was accepted into the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 1948 and completed his medical training at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1952. It was in 1953, during his internship at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, that Les met a nursing student at TCU who would become his partner in life and wife of 58 years, Sarah Frances Tidwell of Clovis, N.M. Married in Amarillo on June 5, 1954, the couple settled in Lubbock in 1955, where Les began his solo practice in obstetrics and gynecology. He delivered more than 8,000 babies during his 32-year medical career, which ended with his retirement in 1986. Les never tired of the joy he received bringing new babies into the world. Believing that every child deserves to be wanted, Les became a founding member of Planned Parenthood when that organization first established a branch in Lubbock. Les was also the original state chair of the Physician Health and Rehabilitation Committee of the Texas Medical Association (TMA). Les was a longtime board member of the Rape Crisis Center in Lubbock. Les served as the president of the Lubbock-Crosby-Garza County Medical Society in 1976 and received that organization's distinguished Award of Hippocrates in 1996. He received the Outstanding Service Award from the TMA in 1987. Les was clinical associate professor of OB-Gyn at the Texas Tech Health Science Center (HSC) School of Medicine and also served on the admissions board. Les was also OB-Gyn lecturer at the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing. Les was a longtime member of First Christian Church and cheerfully served in many capacities from deacon to greeter. He was named Deacon Emeritus in 2009. Les was Christian not only in word, but in deed. His family served as the designated host family for numerous foreign students from Texas Tech and Reese Air Force Base. He assisted impaired physicians seeking treatment for addiction. Through First Christian Church, Les and Frances helped South Vietnamese refugees relocate to Lubbock after the Viet Nam War. Les and Frances were co-chairmen of the 1990 La Dolce Vita Benefit Bash for the UMC Foundation. The following year, they also co-chaired the YWCA Great Lubbock Duck Race. Les provided work opportunities for recently released prison parolees. Les and Frances also helped tutor young elementary students in reading at the Jose Ramirez School in Lubbock. Les was infamous for his practical jokes and cherished for his keen sense of humor. Les and Frances were veteran globetrotters who enjoyed many trips to foreign countries and exotic lands on all continents except Antarctica. He loved to scuba-dive, hunt rattlesnakes, and play with his grandchildren. In service to the very end, Les wanted his body donated to the Texas Tech HSC School of Medicine to help train the next generation of physicians. Les was preceded in death by both his parents and his four siblings: Samuel Ansley, Albert Ansley, Lester Ansley and Pearl Morris. Survivors include his wife, Frances Ansley of Lubbock; a son, Bruce Ansley of Baltimore, Md.; a daughter, Leslie Klingensmith of Lubbock; three grandchildren, Rebecca Martin and her husband, Dywayne Martin, of Irving, Matthew Klingensmith of Pittsburgh, Penn., and Celeste Ansley of Charlottesville, Va.; brother-in-law, Dwayne Tidwell and his wife, Elizabeth, of Lubbock; and a wonderful collection of cousins, nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be directed to First Christian Church, 2323 Broadway Ave., Lubbock, TX 79401, or to a . To send your condolences and view life tribute, visit www.memorialdesigners.net.

Published in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on Jan. 23, 2013
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