Marjorie J. Doyle Leahy
Marjorie June Doyle Leahy, 93, slipped peacefully out of this earthly realm and entered heaven Saturday, June 7, 2014, surrounded by her loving husband and family members.
Marjorie is the mother of 10 children, grandmother to 22, and great-grandmother to 22. That’s a lot of diapers changed, a lot of laundry washed, and a lot of meals at a table for 12 that would make catering the Last Supper seem easy by comparison. From foreign exchange students to the last-second, “Mom, can my friend stay for dinner?” guest, all were welcomed at her table and all left well-fed.
Marge, Margie, June, Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma: she answered to all of those names with a smile that lit up the room, with abundant grace, with wry humor, keen intelligence, a loving demeanor, humility and gratitude. As the family matriarch, she was the perfect counterpoint and complement to her logical, left-brained, physician husband. Though she was too humble to admit it, she provided the right-brain balance to the family, whether expressed in her love of dance and music, or love of art, ranging from Grandma Moses to hand-cut Tiffin crystal.
She was the go-to helper for many, many homework assignments in creative writing and poetry, arts in any media – even cleverly using her chewing gum as a last-second repair of a science project. She taught her family – by example – to respect and to cherish all of God’s creatures, whether they were frogs, turtles, tadpoles (snakes, however, were not welcome indoors), fledgling birds fallen from the nest or her canine companions with whom she also shared her love.
Marjorie was born in 1921 in Danville, Illinois, to Joseph and Grace (Tiffee) Doyle. She was raised through the years of the Great Depression, and had begun a career in nursing in Chicago, Illinois, when she met and instantly fell in love with her soon-to-be devoted and loving husband, Dr. Richard Leahy – with whom she shared a 70th wedding anniversary this past December.
Starting in the World War II years as the wife of a Navy doctor, she gave up her nursing career to become a full-time mother, child psychologist, triage nurse, educator, counselor, arbitrator, chef, laundress, seamstress, reader (Martin’s Mice and the Peevish Penguin books worn thin), taxi driver, liaison and secretary. Marjorie, dutifully following Richard’s Navy and civilian career path, resided in Los Angeles, California, Brazil, Indiana, Toledo and lived for 30 years in Tiffin – until Richard’s retirement from the medical practice. There was a brief stint in a remote hospital in Malawi, Africa, with Richard, trying to assist the less fortunate, followed by a move to Sun City West, Arizona, and, finally to Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
She cherished her visits to Ireland and her summer days at Clear Lake, Indiana. Once her own children were raised, and grandchildren spread across the U.S., Marjorie volunteered at daycare centers in Tiffin and Surprise, Arizona – offering her love, warmth and caring to even more children.
Marjorie’s life was a powerful example of unselfish service to others and unconditional love, and these exemplary traits are hallmarks of her legacy. She was a devout Catholic, and did her best to instill her ethical and moral values in her children; again, leading by example. Now, she’s tap dancing with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, singing with Enrico Caruso, Mario Lanza and John McCormack, and enveloped in God’s loving embrace. Heaven got a good one, but back here on Earth, she will be sorely missed.
Marjorie was preceded in death by her sister, Virginia, and her two brothers, John and Thomas. She is survived by her loving husband, Dr. Richard Albert Leahy; her brother, James “Jimmy” Doyle, and an amazing 75-member family whose names – included here – read like the “litany of the saints”: daughter, Kathleen (Leahy) (Donald) Marquet; granddaughter, Michele (Marquet) (Dr. Michael) Hirsig and great-grandkids, Donovan, Charlie and Izzy, granddaughter Megan (Marquet) (Brock) Wortman and great-grandkids, Maggie and Kathleen, grandson, Kevin (Sheyla) Marquet and great-grandkids, Avery and Owen; son, Dr. Daniel Leahy (Kathy (Krupp)) Leahy, granddaughter, Amy (Leahy) (Steve) Shutts and great-grandkids, Connor, Colleen and Cooper, grandson, Craig (Lisa) Leahy and great-grandkids, Colin and Mary Cameron; son, Kevin (Mimi (Hwang)) Leahy, granddaughter, Caitlin (Leahy) (John) Jessen, grandson, Brendan (Jaime) Leahy and great-grandchild, Kieran, and grandson, Sean Leahy; son, Patrick Leahy, and granddaughters, Brigid Leahy and Fiona Leahy; daughter, Sheila (Leahy) (David) Lee, grandson, Sean (Kendra) Lee and great-grandkids, Shannon, Casey and Reilly, granddaughter, Erin Lee and great-grandkids, Madeline and Ella, granddaughter, Megan (Lee) (Patrick) Kovalik and great-grandchild, Marin, granddaughter, Mallory (Lee) (Kelly) Payne and great-grandchild, Nora; daughter, Teresa (Leahy) (Steve) Donahoe, grandson, Dr. Kevin (Katie) Donahoe, and great-grandkids, Liam and Olivia, and granddaughter, Kelly Donahoe; son, Dennis (Dr. Debra Cudnowski) Leahy, and granddaughter, Basia Leahy; daughter, Maureen (Leahy) (Doug) Mills, grandson, Michael Mac Mills, grandson, Patrick (Bonnie) Mills, and grandson, Steven Mills; daughter, Bridget (Leahy) (Steve) McNutt, grandson, Colin Taylor, and grandson, Aidan McNutt; and son, Brian Leahy. Special mention of Dee and Steve Longanbaugh, friends so close as to be considered family. Marjorie said she thought of Dee as her “sixth daughter.”
Interment will be at Ft. Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Colorado.
In lieu of flowers, family members have suggested donations to St. Jude’s Hospital, a charity for the children that Marjorie so loved.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.horancares.com/obituary/Marjorie-June-Doyle-Leahy/Highlands-Ranch-CO/1389569).