A photo of Joan Lesley West

Joan Lesley West

Calligraphic 'swirl' motif

13 February 1946 – 27 October 2023

Passed away peacefully on Friday 27th October 2023, aged 77 years.

A loving wife and mother, and inspiration to all. She will be missed, but always remembered.

Funeral service to take place on Tuesday 14th November at Gilroes Crematorium at 2pm. Joan would have liked you to celebrate her life by wearing colourful clothing for her service. Be ready to smile and reminisce. 

Donations in lieu of flowers are being gratefully accepted for ‘Dementia UK’ and may be given via this page or sent c/o: G. Seller Independent Funeral Directors, 75 Upper Bond Street, Hinckley, Leicester, LE10 1RH. Tel: 01455637457.

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Funeral Service

Tuesday 14th November 2023

Gilroes Crematorium, East Chapel, Groby Rd, Leicester, LE3 9QG.

Messages Of Condolence

Joan was a very best beloved aunt. Our childhood seemed full of exciting outings and day trips, impromptu visits to quarries and trawls around craft fairs, and she was always at the heart of it.

As a small child I called her “Auntie Tip” after she fell into Rutland Water trying to save some “lost” baby lambs. The lambs, incidentally, escaped unharmed, picking their way through safely to their mothers. Joan however did not escape and then, covered in unidentifiable pond weed and gunk, fell over into the mud again as she was laughing so hard. Despite being always effortlessly stylish, with a wonderful eye for clothes, she took my “auntie tip” name in excellent part. I could never get over how glamorous she was at the Boxing Day parties her and David held, which were my idea of absolute sophistication.

She and David took me on holiday to Florida (sorry Giles), the most exciting holiday I could have dreamed of and an incredibly generous treat. Joan, despite not being a fan of swimming/water, took me on all the water slides at Wet’n’Wild uncomplainingly, shrieking with laughter in the wave pool. She was always full of jokes and laughter, cheating her way through endless games of Monopoly and Scrabble on holiday in France or during Christmas and Easter.

As a 16 year old the plan was that I would move in with her for “finishing school” so she could teach me how to dress and do my hair and make-up. It would have been wonderful if she could also have taught me to have a fraction of her creativity and artistic talent, whether with paint or textiles, but sadly that wasn’t possible! Still, Joan introduced me to so many wonderful things including cocktails, “Grease”, Harrison Ford, coloured eyeliner and “When Harry Met Sally”, for which I can never thank her enough. I miss her terribly, as we all do, but know that this pain is the price we have to pay for all the wonderful memories.
Hi everyone, from and early age, about 5 or 6, I knew I had siblings in the UK, and that Joan was my elder sister (half-sister). I also knew that I had a nephew the same age as me, and that Joan’s first husband (Bill) had died tragically when Giles and Matt were young. I was aware that Joan had re-married (David West). However, Joan (and the wider family) never knew about me. It was only in 1997 that this changed. I had been wanting to make contact with my family here in the UK, but was unsure how to go about it; or how the family may react. Through the family tracing service of the Salvation Army I did eventually make contact. Joan was initially hesitant to make contact, which would be perfectly understandably considering the circumstances. Joan did eventually write to me. I still have the letter. In it she said that it ‘was a bit of a shock to hear...I had a younger brother, but...not entirely unexpected!’

I am most grateful for how Joan accepted me and my family into her immediate and wider family. We had only known eachother a short time, but I cherish these past few years and value the visits, chats and correspondence we had shared. Joan was a special lady and a dear sister to me. She will be deeply missed.
Edwin Myers
Although we live in Canada, we have great memories of our visits to the UK, but particularly of David and Joan's visit to Toronto in 1994. We took David and Joan to our favorite restaurant in the Beaches area. It was run by a Scottish husband and n Austrian wife, so had a huge menu of great food, from Haggis to Weiner Schnitzel, all in huge portions. We all ordered starters, main courses and desert. David waited for Joan to order, including their huge Weiner Schnitzel (which covered the whole plate, with veggies on a separate dish) and then ordered something completely different! He said that as Joan "ate like a bird" she would always leave lots of everything, so he would be able to sample more of the great menu. To his great astonishment and chagrin, Joan ate every morsel of all her dishes! He couldn't get over it! Just one great memory of an epic visit to Canada! A sad loss for all of us.
David Thomas
There is so much to say about Joan Lesley Myers/Orr and West. I could never have wished for a better mother in law or grandmama to our children and Joan was the best but also so much more. She was a fashion icon (oh the shopping trips we enjoyed together, a keep fit fanatic (my yoga buddy and cheerleader for 5 km runs), but most of all she was a wise counsel and chief fun maker. From building tents, making up stories and games beyond mine or any childs' imagination. Joan absolutely adored children and they all loved her. Some of the very best times in my life involved Joan as the chief fun maker. Specifically, one time involved driving my sister Victoria and the five cousins (Maddie, Archie, Beatrice, Emilia and Wills) to the house in Clion. Now as you will have worked out there were only four adults and five children - we were definitely outnumbered! That week was hilarious as we tried to keep ahead of the kids - though of course of chief fun or should it be trouble maker, was Joan, as she often instigated the mayhem. The kids made wild multi-coloured and sugary mocktails in the dependence, danced around the living room, painted and drew and shot water balloons across the garden. Now Joan's proficiency here was remarkable as she managed to cause quite a few car horns to hoot as water balloons careered through the long garden and into the usually quiet back lane. There are so many other memories to share from amazing Christmases, playing with Polly pockets and Farmyards, dressing up and embracing wild fantasies involving spacemen and princesses typically, though Harry Potter later became a firm favourite - utterly priceless memories.
Thank you, Joan. Thank you Joan for every hour, minute and second of those amazing memories you created - you showed us in your own remarkable way just how fabulous life can be.
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