Dr. Leslie Christine Esquibel AKA” Dr. Leslie C. Neely was born on August 8, 1968 in Taos, NM to parents, Belarmino and Linda Esquibel. Dr. Neely grew up in Santa Fe, NM where she attended elementary school at Larragoite and Kearny. During Leslie’s elementary school years, Leslie learned to play the piano and the clarinet. Many summers Leslie enjoyed going to the Hummingbird Music Camp where she was able to learn about music and get away from her little brother. As a child Leslie played many sports. Leslie played basketball, baseball and she swam. Leslie attended De Vargas Jr. High school where she played volleyball, basketball, and track and field. Leslie then went to St. Michael’s Highschool and during her four years at St. Mikes, she earned the Block M award four years in a row. Leslie excelled in academics where she was placed in advanced standing classes each and every year. Leslie was also an accomplished athlete and she lettered in volleyball, basketball, track and field and she was on the swim team. Most athletes remember Leslie’s favorite sport as being volleyball where she was named all district and all state for several years. Leslie was one of the best setters to come out of St. Michael’s High school where she graduated in 1986.
Since Leslie was a little girl she dreamed of becoming a dentist and she knew she needed to attend a top notch university, thus she attended Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. She majored in psychology and graduated with honors from Stanford. After undergraduate she immediately applied to the University of Missouri in Kansas City where she attended dental school. Leslie graduated with a degree in dentistry in 1995 and soon moved back to New Mexico to practice dentistry.
Upon return from dental school Leslie worked in Santa Fe, then Albuquerque, then later moved to Hobbs, New Mexico where she met her husband Matthew P. Neely. Matt worked for the oil fields and Leslie worked at a dental practice. On March 25, 2006, Matt and Leslie went on a motorcycle ride where an accident occurred. Leslie’s husband Matt lost his life and though Dr. Neely kept her license to practice dentistry she never made it back into the clinical setting.
Dr. Neely moved back to Santa Fe, New Mexico and though diagnosed as being quadriplegic, Dr. Neely was able to purchase a home and vehicle and live several years with little assistance, but due to her spinal cord injury, Dr. Neely became less mobile over the years, and she was forced back to the home she grew up in.
During the last few years of Dr. Neely’s life, she did not lose faith and every week took holy communion. During the time that she lived in Santa Fe, many friends and family would come and visit Leslie and if you did, you may have met “Suki” or you may have been told a few jokes that Dr. Neely had to share. Leslie always believed that one should do the best they can with whatever hand one was dealt, and she often told family and friends that when she passes on, she wants people to remember the good times that they shared with her. She did not want people to mourn her death but rejoice that she was on her way to meet Jesus. Furthermore, if you choose to attend the services, please dress in bright colored clothing as Dr. Neely’s wish were that mourners did not show up dressed in black. Dr. Neely’s favorite color was Purple.
Leslie is survived by her parents, Belarmino and Linda Esquibel, brother Matt Esquibel and wife Yolanda Castro de Esquibel along with numerous relatives and friends.
There will be a rosary held at Guadalupe Catholic church on Monday January 17, 2022 at 7 pm. On Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 10:00 am at Guadalupe Catholic Church there will be a mass followed by the funeral service at Rosario Cemetery.
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