Nancy Padelford Noel Lesperance (March 1935 – March 2024)

Nancy Padelford Noel Lesperance (March 1935 – March 2024)

Nancy Padelford Noel Lesperance 88, of Paradise Valley passed away peacefully on March 12, 2024. Her husband and caregiver, Tony, was at her side throughout. She had suffered a difficult illness for the last two years of her life and fought a hard battle to survive to her goal of 89 years of age. She fell short by 11 days.

Nancy was born in Santa Paula, California on March 23, 1935. She was raised by her parents, Frank Sumner Padelford and Nina Verna Stoll Padelford, both deceased. Sumner was a long-standing citrus grower in Fillmore, nearby Bardsdale and Piru. Nina was a long-time teacher in the Fillmore School District.

Nancy attended school from kindergarten through high school in Fillmore. She was a straight A student throughout her education and was her senior class president and valedictorian. After graduation, Nancy moved to Las Vegas and became involved in the ongoing hotel construction on the Strip. There she met a returning veteran, Don Noel, and was married in 1955. Soon she and Don came to the conclusion that Las Vegas was not the best setting to raise children in so they decided to move back to Fillmore. Don became involved in the Padelford citrus farms. Nancy enrolled in college to study accounting. She became a gifted accountant and worked for many business entities in Ventura County as a head accountant over the years.
After their girls were raised, Nancy gradually shifted her interests from accounting to the family orchards. She became active in the day-to-day operation, working with the packing houses to maximize the efficiency, success of picking, and marketing the fruit. Nancy was always interested in trying new types of citruses. Altogether, at one time or another, she had produced three varieties of grapefruit, Valencia oranges, naval oranges and finally her long time dream, lemons.
Don was a military veteran who had seen action in both WWII and Korea and passed away on December 30, 1986.

Nancy took her position as her high school senior class president very seriously, and consequently had headed up class reunions every five years. A decision to make the thirty fifth year (1987) celebration special was made; Nancy contacted all surviving class members to do their best to attend the upcoming event. One person she had not spoken to in 35 years owned a business in Elko, NV, Tony Lesperance. Once contacted, Tony explained to her that he might not be able to attend as he lived nearly 700 miles from Fillmore. However, as the date approached, he chose to attend the upcoming event. Nancy and Tony had not seen nor spoken to each other in the intervening 35 years, other than her telephone conversation telling him of the event. However, as the evening progressed Tony and Nancy seemed to have much in common and danced several times. Nancy suggested they should stay in touch, and Tony took the initiative by calling her a few days after returning to Elko.

Nancy always loved mountains and Tony was extremely knowledgeable of the many mountain ranges in Nevada. He invited her to fly to Elko and she did in the spring months of 1988 and was totally impressed by the many snow-capped ranges one could see from the plane. Nancy moved to Elko in the spring of 1990 and she and Tony were married in the Episcopal Church on June 23, 1990.

Nancy soon took over the entire fiscal responsibilities of Tony’s Business, Great Basin Agriculture, as well as frequently going with him on his mine reclamation work, as well as the water monitoring work he was doing for ranches throughout Northern Nevada.

Nancy also became very active in Soroptimist in the City of Elko. Soroptimist was a long-standing activity in the Padelford Family, as both her mother and grandmother had been active in the organization.

Nancy clearly understood Tony’s love of cattle production, and suggested, as the years went by, that perhaps one day they should buy a small ranch and retire from the rigors of business life. Tony loved Paradise Valley, a beautiful high mountain valley, surrounded by towering snow-capped mountains in northern Humboldt County and once Nancy saw it, she declared “This is the place for us”. And their dream came true when they bought a small ranch in this beautiful valley in 1997.

Liberty Land and Livestock, as they called their place, was soon a home to 25 angus cross cows and a suitable sire. They spent every possible moment exploring the nearby Santa Rosa Mountain range, having picnics in every possible place, fishing miles of streams and just plain enjoying what they always referred to as God’s World. In due time, Nancy’s love of Soroptimist began to resurface, and to her dismay, there was no such organization in nearby Winnemucca, so she took it upon herself to change that situation. After a few weeks of walking the streets and talking to every adult female involved in any business capacity she obtained enough support to start a chapter in Winnemucca. Soon she had promoted sufficient monies to start offering at least one scholarship annually. Her interests were in helping young single mothers that wanted to improve their lifestyle by going back to college, or at least to the local junior college.

A side of Nancy not generally known about was that she had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. In talking with the officers that tested her they all claimed she was the most accurate lady they had ever tested. Both in how she handled her gun, as well as her accuracy. She did not pack normally, instead she felt that preparedness on their somewhat remote ranch was the correct thing to do. Her husband, Tony, also an excellent shot with a side arm, can attest to the fact that he could never outscore her in side-by-side competition.
Nancy was a beautiful lady, always friendly, always interested in the welfare of the young ladies she was trying to help, as well as the community of Paradise Valley and the nearby town of Winnemucca. Her lifestyle, her overall attractiveness, and her friendship were her calling card and well known throughout the community. It is worth noting that Nancy’s favorite saying as: “Family First Foremost and Forever”. Considering all that she accomplished in her 88 plus years, it might be more appropriate to say, “Family and Community First Foremost and Forever.”

Nancy is survived by her husband, Tony, two daughters, Holly Mraz (Rocky), Candace Rousselet, one grandson, Travis (Brittany), one granddaughter, Miranda and three great-grandsons, Declan, Jameson, and Beckett. Additionally, she has three stepdaughters, numerous other step grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as several cousins.
Nancy is preceded in death by her younger sister, Peggy Jean, a number of years ago.

Nancy will be buried in the Padelford portion of the beautiful Bardsdale Cemetery near the city of Fillmore on April 19, 2024, at 11:00 am with a reception to follow at the Railroad Museum. A graveside Episcopalian service will be conducted to complete the event. Later in the year, once the temperature has warmed, and the grass has become green, a celebration of life will be conducted at the community center in Paradise Valley.

Nancy’s family is deeply appreciative of the efforts put forth by the nurses associated with Genesis Home Health Care and Hospice. Their constant efforts to supply all that was needed, as well as their constant display of support and love at all levels will long be remembered. The family also wishes to express deep appreciation to Tomi Flemmer who worked tirelessly throughout this two-year ordeal to ensure that Nancy and her caretaker husband were properly well nourished and cared for throughout. In lieu of flowers or other such remembrances, the family would ask that all remembrances be directed to Genesis Hospice of Nevada, 2620 Ruby Vista Drive Elko, NV 89801.