Louise Bland Leslie
Louise Bland Leslie, age 89, a life-long resident of Tazewell, VA died Friday, January 25, 2019 at Lewis Gale Hospital in Salem, VA. The daughter of the late William Bland Leslie and Pearl Rhudy Leslie, she was born March 18, 1929 in the family home. She was preceded in death by her sister, Nancy Leslie Chambers, who passed away in 2005 and brother in law, Jack Chambers who passed away in 2015.
Louise “Lou” carried on the family newspaper when she joined the staff of the Clinch Valley News after her graduation from Coker University in Hartsville, SC in 1950. The Tazewell newspaper, one of the oldest in Virginia was purchased by the Leslie family in 1896. She served as editor and columnist until 1980 and in the following years continued her column “My Main Street” in the Tazewell County Free Press.
Louise had a deep interest in her native Tazewell and in 1981 she wrote a definitive history entitled “Tazewell County”. She also authored 15 additional books (some with co-author Dr. Terry Mullins) which include reprints of favorite columns, memories of life in Tazewell County, and descriptions of 25 journeys abroad.
She had a lifetime filled with music and her love for playing the piano continued through teaching children and adults for over 50 years. She served as pianist and organist at the Tazewell Baptist Church since the days of early childhood. Friendships were important to Lou, and she leaves friends of all ages to remember her life. A gathering to celebrate honor Lou’s life will be announced at a later date.
There will be no funeral service, at her request, but she left these words for her friends: “Thanks, I had a good time.”
Arrangements are being handled by Peery & St. Clair Funeral Home of Tazewell, VA. Online condolences may be sent to www.peerystclairfuneralhome.com