Boardwalk Memorial- Lesley Mandel
Lesley Mandel was a Pines homeowner at 308 Shady Walk for a dozen years and a resident of Fire Island Pines for forty years. She was an inventive chef who regularly orchestrated Friday night dinners—seemingly effortlessly—for eight to ten people. After leaving a successful career as a buyer in the Fashion Industry she used her charm, sales experience, formidable organizational skills, wit and personal style as a springboard for her well-remembered 22 year career —leading groups of gay men, hither and yon, from East to West, from Ocean to Bay, trekking over Fire Island Pines rolling boardwalks as a Real Estate Salesperson for Bob Howard Real Estate, where she was fondly known as ‘Queen Of The Weeklies.’ Lesley left Fire Island Pines & Manhattan, relocating to Palm Springs, where she continued her real estate career.
Her fame as a real estate salesperson was memorialized in Chuck Ramberg’s Off Broadway’ play “End Of The World Party”. As the curtain falls on their summer rental house, the tenants exclaim “Lesley’s here!’
The curtain fell for Lesley today. She died peacefully, surrounded by her chosen family, in Palm Springs. A lifelong cigarette smoker, Lesley succumbed to stage 4 lung cancer after a long fight, at an age that was a closely guarded secret.
By Bob Howard.
Lesley was a shining light who saw beauty in everything.
Her energy and kindness brought out the best in everyone around her.
She also knew how to make an entrance.
Picture this: A whirling dervish decked out in black, wearing sunglasses in the dark, drink in hand, “finds her way” through the crowded Pavillon dance floor to join her family of friends for “Peak Sleaze”.
Her signature dance moves were perfectly in sync to the lyrics of whatever song was playing at the time.
I don’t know if she coordinated the entrance music with the DJ in advance, but from Somebody’s Eyes to Pull Yourself Together, to Love and Happiness, to this one linked below which was one of her favorites, they were always ones that packed the floor and kicked the party up a notch.
The memories of Lesley and musical mornings we shared together, will dance in Eternity.
Safe passage, LM. Owen Frager.
On the weekend of June 7th, 2019 there was a series of memorial events planned by Bob Howard & PJ McAteer. It culminated with a rose ceremony at the ocean.