Emily Kirsten Andrews Leeds, 38, of Orange Park, FL, passed away peacefully at home on January 2, 2021. By her side were her loving family and a big glass of sweet tea - two of her favorite things.
Emily was born February 10, 1982 in Durham, N.C. She graduated from Southern High School in 2000 and was a 2004 graduate of Barton College in Wilson, NC. During her time at Barton she found the most supportive group of friends in Phi Mu that perfectly complemented her dear childhood friends from home. After college, she taught in Little Washington, NC and then moved to Charleston, SC. In Charleston she took the solemn-yet-unwritten oath of office as a military spouse. She dedicated the rest of her life serving her country and especially the Jacksonville, FL community in that role, holding down the fort at home while her husband was serving forward or working long hours while home. She was a friend, mentor, and guide to military life and motherhood for so many, in and outside of the military.
She was a devoted mother to her three children, an incredibly proud military wife and faithful Christian. As the older sister to her three siblings she always led the way by forging her own path, following her heart, and letting her big style and bigger personality shine. Emily was feisty, loyal, loved adventures and taking road trips with her kids in tow. It is her family’s prayer that her children follow in her footsteps of positivity, loving big, and always looking for the next adventure or trash picking treasure. Her brutal honesty, quick wit, and playful sarcasm were in perfect balance with her huge heart, fierce loyalty and devoted love.
Emily most recently worked as a teacher at Ortega Playschool where she loved taking care of children while concurrently serving as CEO of the Leeds household. As a Blue Devil fan in a house divided ( “Go Heels”- John) we take comfort in the fact that she is now rejoicing in the house of the Lord.
Emily was preceded in death by grandparents, Richard and Lillian Haddock of New Bern, NC, and Wade and Hilda Andrews of Durham, NC.
Emily is survived by her loving husband of 13 years, John; children, Miles, Mack and Lilly; parents, Rodney and Vicki Andrews; three siblings, Erin (Jesse), Bennett and Blaine along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, dear friends and military family across the country and around the world.
The family will hold a celebration of Emily’s life on Thursday, January 7, 2021 at Ortega United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, FL. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the Ortega Playschool general fund (Venmo @ortegaplayschool or mail check payable to Ortega Playschool, mailed to OPS, 4807 Roosevelt Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32210) or donations to the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (https://cholangiocarcinoma.org/donate/).
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