Life Story / Obituary
Mary Ann Leitsinger, was born June 20,1931, in Detroit, Michigan, to Andrew and Sundina Rappa. Her parents were immigrants from Italy. They first settled in Detroit and later moved to Hazel Park where she, her sister, and two brothers grew up. As the oldest child of immigrants she often helped her parents with their language and cultural struggles. After graduating high school she did some office administrator’s assistant work, but at a young age met and married her husband, Ralph Leitsinger. They were married for 66 years. Surviving is her son, Ralph (Nancy) Leitsinger Jr., her brother, John Rappa, twelve grandchildren and six great grandchildren, plus one on the way. Preceding her in death was her husband, Ralph Sr. in 2018, her daughter Cheryl in 2006, her sister, Anna Clayton, and brother, Andy Rappa.
Mary was a career homemaker and, in her husband’s view, she was “Damn Good At It!” (Among other things it was probably the Italian cooking). In her younger days she was always available to help friends and family. She had a wide variety of interests including crafts, pets, cooking, music (big Elvis fan), entertainment magazines, collecting dolls, and finding bargains on things - she loved garage sales. She was smart and quick-witted, loved to watch the news and discussed current events with others.
She also doted on her grandkids, taking them to vacation bible school, garage sales, swimming lessons, their favorite restaurants, amusement parks, shopping, and more. She also enlisted their help in the kitchen and was very nurturing with them – tending to their ailments with the care that only a grandmother can. She even figured out email and Facebook so she could keep in touch with them and “like” their posts. She was excited about her next great-grandchild’s arrival.
For the last 33 years, Mary has struggled with health issues. Those problems intensified around the age of eighty. The last two and half plus years were really challenging and many people would have just given up but she said she wasn’t quitting. Fortunately, her mind remained strong until death and with the help of caregivers, her family, and Grace Hospice she passed away at home in Portage, Michigan, on January 5, 2020. She will be buried at Lakeview Cemetery, Clarkston, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting those interested to make a donation to your favorite charity.
Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, (269) 375-2900, www.BetzlerLifeStory.com.