ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Obituary of Mary Mullaney Ley
Mary Helen (nèe Leahy) Mullaney Ley, of Fairfax, VA passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her beloved family on February 11, 2018.
Mary Helen, the oldest of five children, was born in Kansas City, MO in 1940 to Mary Elizabeth Callahan Leahy and William James Leahy. Mary Helen was a natural leader from the beginning and she excelled academically throughout her life. She graduated from Visitation Elementary School; St. Teresa’s Academy in 1957 where she was President of her Senior Class. She received her undergraduate degree in nursing from Avila University in 1961 where she graduated first in her class and was President of its Student Government Association. She received a Master’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Michigan, and was a nursing PhD. Candidate at The Catholic University of America.
In addition to her academic success, Mary Helen excelled as a soprano voice soloist and city-wide writer and orator. She was chosen Queen of the Heart Ball in Kansas City which was sponsored by the Russell Stover Candy Company.
Mary Helen specialized in psychiatric nursing and touched thousands of lives during her long nursing career. She had a special love of teaching and was proud of her accomplishments as Director of Nursing at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.
As a single mother most of her life, Mary Helen worked tirelessly to provide a loving home and life for her five children. She understood the importance of education and encouraged all of her children to study and continue their education. She loved to cook and gather the family on holidays.
She is predeceased by her parents, her husband Col. Robert E. Ley of Reston VA, and her brother Michael Leahy of Kansas City, MO. She is survived by her five children Tommy Higgins of New York, NY, Sean Higgins of Fairfax, VA (children Madeleine, Annika, Dashiell), Erin Aiken of Marston Mills, MA (husband Paul Aiken and children Natasha and Vanya), Mary Higgins Colucci of Kamuela, HI (husband Ken), and Deirdre Boro of St. Cloud, FL. (husband Dr. Thomas Boro and children Sarah, Rosemary, and Liam). She is also survived by her brother Bill Leahy of Kansas City, MO, and her sisters Martha Leahy Staker (husband Rodd) and her sister Elizabeth Leahy Heinsohn (husband Rod) of Merriman, KS, and many nieces and nephews.
In later years, Mary Helen enjoyed traveling and cherished time with her eight grandchildren. She was an avid reader and enjoyed quilting.
A private burial will be held at Arlington National Cemetery. Donations may be made in her name to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, 60 East 56th Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.