Leslie Allen Lerner, 55, beloved husband of Jill and father of Natalie, died at home September 10, 2005, after a ferocious battle with cancer, without fear and facing the next itinerant journey. Painter, sculptor, inspirational teacher, indefatigable spirit, champion of art and artists, creator of narratives, imaginary companion of Antoine Watteau. Prodigious reader, fast talker, lover of words, tropical skies, twilight and enchiladas. His friends and family will remember his fierce engagement with the world, his loyalty, his wordplay, his impatience, his kindness, his vision, his torrent of talk, his walk, his one-eyed squint and his humor. Over his decades-long career, Leslie was a dedicated art teacher at San Francisco State, the San Francisco Art Institute and California College of Arts and Crafts. At his last position as art instructor at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, he was a prime architect of the fine arts program and served as both senior thesis coordinator and the director of the Pre-College Perspective Summer Program, where he guided and mentored many students. His paintings are represented in collections in museums around the country, including the Corcoran Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum and the Norton Gallery of Art. Leslie will echo in our footsteps in museum halls, galleries, classrooms, studios and anywhere that art lives. He leaves behind those who loved him and his body of work, which will never die. In lieu of flowers, contributions will be welcomed to the Leslie Lerner Fine Arts Scholarship Fund at the Ringling School of Art and Design, 2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34234. A memorial service will be held 6:30 p.m. October 2 on the Ringling School campus at the amphitheatre of Bayou Studios.