Joan Manley, 73, of Lexington died April 28

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Joan Manley, 73, of Lexington, and more recently of Clifton Forge, passed away on April 28, 2022.

She was the daughter of the late Emily and Lawrence Manley. Surviving are her brother Jim Manley, sister Peggy Leasure, and three nephews, Harvest, Gabe, and Shanti Leasure.

Joan grew up in Garden City, N.Y., graduated from the University of Rhode Island, and moved to Los Angeles in 1971. Her car was totaled by a drunk driver in 1985 leaving Joan quadriplegic. She moved to RockbridgeCounty to live with her mother who provided 24-hour care.

Joan’s passion was accessibility for all. Upon her mom’s passing in 1995, Joan moved to Lexington and lived independently. Joan lived life to the fullest and let the world know what needed to be done to improve the lives of those with disabilities.

Some of her many activities include starting and managing the Rockbridge Area Transportation System (RATS), working for Valley Associates for Independent Living (VAIL), creating Rockbridge Advocates for Community Involvement (RACI), serving as president of the Rockbridge Disability Services Board, board member of Rockbridge Area Conservation Council (RACC), and volunteering for many statewide disability programs. She was awarded Lexington Citizen of the Year in 2003 and selected Ms. Wheelchair Virginia in 2009-2010.

Joan’s love was to help others to enjoy life. She loved getting other people with disabilities to go with her wheeling on the Chessie Trail, dancing at Coffeehouse parties, downhill skiing, water skiing, and so much more.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions can be given to RATS,

712 N. Main St., LexingtonVA24450



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