Leslie Ann (Boyd) Mann
Our beloved Leslie Ann (Boyd) Mann -wife, mother, grandmother, stepmom, sister, and friend to so many- passed away at 8 PM on Monday, January 28th, 2019.
Family and friends were at home with her as she let go of the life she shared with husband Brian, daughter Leyla Johnson, sons Josh and Gabe Mann, son-in-law Evald Johnson, and beloved granddaughters Amelia and Ruby, sister Laurel Austin, brother-in-law Durban Lenocker, and so many dear and loved friends, cousins, nieces, nephews, grand- nieces and grandnephews. Also, through marriage, her sister Lori Erenberg, brothers Robert and Jonathan Mann, Steve Snyder, and mother Cheri Mann.
In the last years of her battle with cancer, Leslie was supported and buoyed by many friends. Especially the Nagelmann family, Dr. Jim Thomas, Peggy Jo Love, Joyce Jerge, David Rockey, Bonnie and Roger Rungavac, Leslie’s book club members, Maxine Avila, Consuello Benavidez, our many wonderful and loving neighbors, and the kind people at The Ridley Tree Cancer Center, Visiting Nurses and Hospice. During the last few difficult weeks, Robert and Steve, Josh, Gabe and Leyla stepped up and took over much of the hour-to-hour care and are a testament to the love and devotion Leslie inspired in all who knew her.
Born and raised in a large, warm and extensive family in the small ranching town of Selma, CA, Leslie felt loved and accepted. With her aunts, uncles and grandparents all nearby, she felt secure and safe, enabling her to develop a quiet and healthy level of true self-confidence along with a steady, kind, tolerant way of being. And in her Grandpa Baba’s cotton fields and vineyards, she learned how to work. Her cousins and siblings were her best friends; with them, she developed a tremendous sense of humor, an appetite for simple pleasures, and the value of friendship.
After attending Cal Poly, she transferred to UCSB with her surfer boyfriend in 1971. At first bored with the sleepy beach town of Santa Barbara, she quickly made friends working at Sees Candy then, at Diane’s with new friend, Sandy Resnick. Merle Clark, who famously could be seen walking along the boardwalk on his hands, soon swept Leslie off her feet, into a VW Van and the Mountain Road lifestyle, and soon baby Leyla was born. A couple years later, Merle’s wild man lifestyle was too much for young mother Leslie; facing the question of how to support herself and her daughter, she decided to go to Tom Hanson’s beauty school. There she met fellow student and life long friend, redheaded Peggy Jo Love.
After beauty school, and for forty years hence, Leslie, with business partner and friend Peggy Jo, welcomed customers to their hair salon, Head West. There, along with beautiful haircuts and color, they offered an open hearted and non-judgmental ear, a ready laugh, advice on everything from restaurants and movies, to marriage, family, and life in general.
In 1990 Leslie met her (hmm hmm, with apologies) 3rd and best husband, Brian, when both were separated from former spouses. They adopted the saying “It’s never too late to have a happy life” as their motto, and married in 1992. Bringing together Leslie’s daughter, Leyla, and Brian’s sons, Josh and Gabe, they formed a new family and proceeded to prove that motto accurate.
Soon after that, tragically, Leslie lost her brother Ted to Melanoma, then a short time later, her older sister, Lynne to ALS. Then in 2007, an x-ray revealed a tumor in Leslie’s right breast, undetected for so long it was large (stage 3). Always with the brilliant and kind guidance of Dr. Tom Woliver, Leslie endured surgeries, chemo, radiation and some crazy new drugs. Though losing her beautiful hair, she was given the ‘all clear’ a year later. Remission. For now. Leyla and Evald soon brought Leslie’s first grand daughter, Amelia into the world and into her life. With much to live for, Leslie got active, and with her devoted friend and long time walking partner, Dee Nagelmann, started training, walking 5 to 8 miles several times a week. After completing the Barbara Ireland Walk, they went on to complete the Avon Breast Cancer walk in Santa Barbara (2010), then in New York City (2011). 26 miles day one…13 miles day two…and although Leslie lost a big toenail, and after a few wrong turns, they finished in the top groups and helped raise money for research and treatment. Soon grand baby Ruby was born, and a new and wonderful chapter began.
All through their deep, loving and devoted marriage, Leslie steadfastly supported husband Brian’s music career through its many ups and downs. Never complaining if money was tight, or the hours were late (or if the singer was a little too pretty and young). She always had faith in Brian. Brian will appreciate that and the many other things that Leslie gave him as long as he lives. Most of all he appreciates the gift of his granddaughters and daughter, the beautiful home and cottage they shared, their life in Santa Barbara with their many devoted friends, the way she loved and accepted Brian’s sons and whole family, and the feeling of being deeply loved and fully accepted for who he is. A lot of people are grateful for receiving some of those same gifts from Leslie.
A memorial is being planned in Santa Barbara for mid to late March. And another in Selma, CA a bit later.