Obituary: Leslie Pray, 1964-2018 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Leslie Pray, 1964-2018

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Leslie Pray
  • Leslie Pray

Claremont, Calif.

Leslie A. Pray, 54, formerly of Burlington, was tragically killed on November 3, 2018, while cycling toward the San Gabriel Mountains near her home in Claremont, Calif.

Leslie received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1986 and her graduate degrees from the University of Vermont (master’s degree in 1994 and PhD in 1997). Leslie was an uncommonly talented researcher and writer. Although her graduate work was published in the prestigious journals Evolution and Conservation Biology, she remained an unassuming and humble scientist. Over the course of her career, Leslie authored dozens of scientific manuscripts, papers and articles. In addition, Leslie was working on a memoir, a novel and several short stories at the time of her death.

Leslie was a brilliant, funny and gentle soul who loved the outdoors, animals, writing, science, vegan cooking and spending time with her loved ones. In spite of the senseless act of violence that took Leslie’s life, those who loved her know that we must move forward through this world with boldness, love and compassion.

Leslie leaves behind her life partner, Betsy Hipple; her brothers Max (wife Stacey) and Ross; sister Marlene (partner David); niece Kelly; nephews Henry and Owen; and many friends whom she considered family, including Deirdre Callanan and the son they co-parented, Michael Trabert. She was predeceased by her parents, whom she cared for until their recent deaths.

A ghost bike vigil was held in Leslie’s honor at the site of her death on November 5, and a private service was held at her home on November 7. There will be a remembrance and celebration of her life in Burlington in March 2019. For more information about the March service, please email janetmhurley@gmail.com. Donations in Leslie’s name may be made to Animal Equality, animalequality.org.

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