A photo of Mary Jo Leithren

Mary Jo Leithren

January 6, 1932 - December 24, 2018


Mary Jo Leithren, age 86, of Newark, DE, went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Monday, December 24, 2018.

Born and raised in Elkton, MD on January 6, 1932, she was one of seven children to the late Stewart and Viola Bedwell. She learned the importance of family early on. Mary attended Elkton High School, graduating in 1949 and where she met and married the love of her life and soulmate, James H. Leithren. She worked at the Aberdeen Proving Ground and then for the Chrysler Plant in Newark, DE until she and Jim decided to start a family of their own.

Her faith in God meant everything to her and often stated that it was what got her through many of the tough times in life. Mary was a devoted member of St. Johns-Holy Angels Parish in Newark, DE and shared her faith by sponsoring others into the church. She dedicated time every day to prayer and reading her Bible. Mary was a wonderful wife, mother and often times caregiver selflessly caring for other family members stricken with various serious illnesses.

She provided a clean, warm and loving home for her children, David, Joanne, Michael and Karen. Mary was a voice of reason, peacemaker and passionately devoted to her family and extended family. She loved to laugh and enjoyed family gatherings “and like that.” She enjoyed hosting family for the holidays and there was lots of love in everything she prepared.

In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, James H. Leithren; sisters, Dorothy Dawson (Pete), Marie Staab (Bus), Jane Mogler (Bill); brother, George S. Bedwell (Franny); granddaughter, Rebekah; and daughter-in-law, Kelly. She is survived by her four children, David (Carol), Joanne Armstrong, Michael (Colleen) and Karen O’Keefe (Sean); sister, Pat Mainelli; brother, John E. Bedwell; grandchildren, David Leithren, Ashley Bradford, Erin Matter, Chris Sappington, Connor O’Keefe, Heather Egnor, Michael Leithren, Susie Leithren, Christine Leithren and Brian Leithren; and great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 10 am until 10:45 am on Monday, January 7, 2019, at Holy Angels R.C. Church, 82 Possum Park Rd, Newark, DE, where a Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11 am. Interment will follow in All Saints Cemetery, 6001 Kirkwood Hwy, Wilmington, DE.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Mary’s memory to the American Heart Association, 200 Continental Drive, Suite 101, Newark, DE 19713.

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10 Condolences for Mary Jo Leithren

  • Mary Jo told me to call her mom when Mike and I married and I did. What seemed awkward at first, because I already had a mom, now I can say was a great decision. She was a loving mom to me especially after my parents passed. She listened to all my stories like my mom did and provided encouragement and guidance when I needed it. She was also special to those around her. She even stayed in touch with Rebekah’s cardiologist over the years which amazed me. While I find comfort knowing she is with her loved ones in Heaven, I will miss her dearly.

  • So sorry for your loss. A parent gives so much to us. Be comforted by her memories at this time. Hugs to you all.

  • I knew Mary Jo for more than 40 years when her son David married my sister Kelley Jean. Unfortunately Kelley passed a number of years ago and loved her mother-in-law (Mary Jo) very much. Mary Jo was a wonderful, warm person who will be missed very much. I am glad she’s in the loving arms of our savior Jesus Christ. May her family be at peace knowing she’s with family in heaven now. Sandra Skelley

  • David, Joanne, Michael and Karen,
    So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing.
    My Prayers are with you all at this most difficult time.
    Pray that GOD will give you comfort and peace to get through this.
    I worked with your dad at Chrysler for many years.
    Knew David from the Jeep dealer in Newark.

    Psalms: 116 v 15

  • With Deepest Sympathy. Cousin Roland and Janice Leathrum and Family.

  • So very sorry for your loss,Aunt Mary Jo gave me a wonderful book about how important it is to love your family, she will be dearly missed. May God be with all of you . Mary and Dennis Atchison

  • Dave…So sorry for your loss. It’s been awhile since we’ve connected but read about your wonderful mother. You are a true example of her legacy….always kind. She is now an angel watching over you. God Bless you & your family. Carol

  • Ashley, David and David. Prayers, love and hugs to you. My heart aches for all of you during this time

  • Sis, I am going to miss our phone calls together. I enjoyed being able to catch up on each other’s families. Our families are very important to us. When our sister Jane passed away, I am glad we were given the opportunity to reconnect. While I am saddened by the loss, I glad she’s not suffering, and that she is with God & Jim.

    With lots of love and prayer always,
    Pat

  • To the Leithren family,

    I was so sorry to read of your mother s passing. Mary Jo and Jim were wonderful neighbors to my parents in Willow Run. I remember the Moms playing cards together and sharing babysitting chores.

    Your Mom looked out for all the neighbor kids and your Dad loved to tease us and make us laugh.

    We were lucky to know them and call them friends,

    Most Sincerly,

    The Canning Children