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Rock Hill community remembers Lesslie family killed in mass shooting

Dr. Robert Lesslie was known professionally for his medical expertise, but he and his wife Barbara are also being remembered for their work serving in the community.

ROCK HILL, S.C. — As the Rock Hill community mourns the loss of Dr. Robert Lesslie, his wife Barbara, and grandchildren Adah and Noah, those who knew the Lesslie family share the impact they had on York County, both personally and professionally.

Dr. Lesslie and Barbara volunteered at The Manna House Pantry once a month, and Dr. Lesslie served as a board member, said Harold Aubert, vice president of The Manna House Pantry.

Aubert said the Lesslie's were always willing to pitch in a helping hand.

"One thing I can say about Dr. Lesslie is that whenever we needed something, Dr. Lesslie was more than happy to help,” Aubert said. “He was one humble person. He and his wife, both."

The Manna House Pantry said in a statement on Facebook, “We will miss their caring spirit, their hugs and the joy they brought into a room.”

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"When they come in, it's just like a ray of sunshine,” Aubert said. “Barbara would come in, and she would just start talking to everybody. I mean, she just come up and say hi, give you a hug.”

Aubert said Dr. Lesslie also saw a way to fill people's medical needs through the food pantry by starting a health ministry with free checkups.

“One of his main concerns was, do the people coming have, do they understand their blood pressure?” Aubert added. “Do they understand their diabetes, cholesterol condition?”

Upon hearing the news of the tragedy this week, Aubert said he couldn’t believe it.

“There’s a big void in their heart right now,” Aubert said. “And all I can tell people right now is, remember Robert for who he was because he truly was one of a kind.”

Connie McIntyre, a clinical supervisor in the emergency room at Piedmont Medical Center, knew Dr. Lesslie professionally and personally.  

“Always calm and collected,” McIntyre said of Lesslie. “Always professional.”

McIntyre said she started in the ER at Piedmont Medical Center as a new college grad in 1995, working and learning from Dr. Lesslie.

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“He took the time to mentor me,” she said. “He taught me so many things. He would show me different x-rays and what they meant, go over bloodwork with me.”

But she said she gained even more than just medical knowledge from Dr. Lesslie by watching him interact with patients.

“He would sit down with patients, listen to them, listen to their story, everything about them,” McIntyre said. “He had a phenomenal memory and would make that patient feel extremely special, and that’s what he did with us as the staff, too.”

McIntyre said she didn’t think being a doctor was a job for Lesslie, that it was calling because of the love and the passion he had for his patients.

“He’s actually the physician that’s probably had the most impact on my life and in the community,” McIntyre added.

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