Mary was born on December 14, 1914, in the rural home of her parents Joseph Nathaniel and Nora (Fisher) Davisson, just south of Falls City, Richardson County, Nebraska. Joseph owned and operated his family farm, and Nora's father (George W. Fisher) owned a nearby farm.
Mary graduated from Falls City High School in 1933 and subsequently graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, in 1935 (then a two-year women's college), and from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in 1937 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
After teaching public school music in Hemingford and Unadilla, Nebraska, she married Vance Leininger of Fullerton, Nebraska on December 25, 1938, with whom she had shared music classes at UNL. The couple made their first homes in Stanton and Shenandoah, Iowa, and they moved to Washington, DC in 1942 when Vance joined the US Navy. After he earned his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1948, the young family settled in Columbus, Nebraska where they raised their three sons. They moved to St. Joseph, Missouri in 1988 when Vance retired. They belonged to the Federated Church in Columbus, the First Presbyterian Church in St. Joseph, the Benton Club, and St. Joseph Country Club.
Mary was a 50-plus year member of PEO Sisterhood - Chapter CH in Columbus and Chapter BP in St. Joseph - and she was a member of the Runcie Club in St. Joseph. She often hosted PEO meetings and enjoyed playing piano, and also enjoyed playing bridge. In Columbus during the 1970s, Mary became very interested and proficient in yoga. Friends who visited her in recent years had the pleasure of seeing her yoga photograph album, of which she was proud.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and two older sisters, Esther Richardson, Falls City, Nebraska and Ruth Dunn, Lanham, Maryland.
She is survived by three sons; Kurt, Malvern, Pennsylvania, Joel, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Ralph, Dayton, Ohio; four grandsons, Andrew, Peter, Jeffrey, and Benjamin; and one niece, Merrijeanne (Dunn) Mitchell, Lanham, Maryland.
Memorial Services: 4:00 P.M. Wednesday, Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory. A private ceremony is planned by the family in Columbus, where her ashes will be interred at Roselawn Cemetery, next to her husband of nearly 74 years. The family suggests memorial gifts to Hands of Hope Hospice in St. Joseph.