Maryanne  Leyshon

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Maryanne Leyshon, age 72, passed away at her Sun City, Ariz., home during the quiet morning of Sept. 4, 2019, with husband and soulmate, Donald, the love of her life for 35 years, by her side.
Maryanne was born Dec. 3, 1946, in Steubenville, Ohio, to parents Cecilia and William L. Gardner. She gleefully spent her childhood tumbling through the streets and woods of Sharpsville with her "sissie," Cynthia.
As a teenager fresh out of Sharpsville High School, Maryanne joined the Sharon Herald in 1965 as a Modern Living staff writer where she thrived in her ability to churn out countless stories and type up about a zillion wedding announcements. In between assignments, Maryanne managed to get married, have two children, and receive multiple editorial promotions.
Maryanne was known far and wide throughout the Shenango Valley for her community service (for example, the resurrection of Buhl Day in 1979), her energetic support of her boys at their Hickory High School wrestling matches and football games, and for driving her rust-colored Cadillac on shopping sprees to Pittsburgh.
Then the West called in 1989. Actually, it was Don, whom she had been dating for several years before he was transferred to Sun City, Ariz. An opportunity arose when she was offered the position of editor of the Daily News-Sun, and shortly thereafter came Don's proposal. They were married on Oct. 7, 1989, and Maryanne packed up the house on North Buhl Farm Drive, retired the Cadillac, and rode off into the sunset with her beloved, Don.
Maryanne retired in 2010 as editor of the Daily News-Sun after 45 years of distinguished service in the newspaper industry.
She had a long history of community service in Pennsylvania beginning in her teens as a hospital volunteer and later chaired studies on juvenile justice and child-care needs; tutored disadvantaged schoolchildren; chaired major fund-raisers for National Council of Jewish Women for 10 years; and, chaired the education arm of Family Planning Services for several years. She also served on boards of directors for civic and social service organizations, community fund and school and religious groups and was named Shenango Valley (Pa.) Young Person of the Year.
In Arizona, she directed the newsroom in achieving several general excellence first-place awards from Arizona Newspapers Association and Arizona Associated Press Managing Editors and coordinated community service projects, including forums on a variety of issues ranging from health care to school reform and dialogue and understanding in the wake of 9/11.
Maryanne served as chairman of the Sun Health Foundation board of trustees, president of the Symphony of the West Valley, secretary of the then Northwest Valley Chamber of Commerce, president of the Arizona Associated Press Managing Editors Association, board member of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and board member of the Sun City Ambassadors.
Maryanne was first diagnosed with cancer in 2005. Despite fighting four different forms of cancer over 14 years, she and Don never missed a single birthday or a holiday season with their family in Albuquerque, N.M. Even after her most recent diagnosis, Maryanne was a gracious host at her annual Thanksgiving feast, entertaining no less than 35 people last November. Her large extended family and friends loved celebrating in Maryanne and Don's home and the aforementioned Thanksgiving celebrations were notorious. While cancer is a ravaging disease, Maryanne never let it diminish her gratitude for life.
Maryanne is survived by her husband, Donald J. Leyshon; sons Brook (Sarah) Laskey of Los Ranchos, N.M., and Shanin Laskey of Santa Cruz, Calif.; sister Cynthia (William) Sember of Spring, Texas; stepchildren David Leyshon of Glendale, Ariz., and Dawn (Rick) Rice of Sharpsville; daughter-in-law Denise (John) Rabal of Peoria, Ariz.; grandchildren Derek (Krissy) Leyshon of Virginia Beach, Va. and Danielle Leyshon and her fiancée Tanner Kneipp of Glendale, Ariz.; Cain Laskey of Surprise, Ariz.; Shayla Phillips and her fiancée Skye Lucas of Sharon; Kurt Roth of Sharpsville; and Isabella Laskey and Luke Laskey of Los Ranchos, N.M.; great-grandson, Noah Laskey of Surprise; brother-in-law Gene Leyshon of Sharon; and sister-in-law Eileen (Fran) Ray of Masury.
The family will hold a private memorial for Maryanne.
In lieu of flowers, the family would ask that you simply give your Mom a hug and tell her that you love her.
To send flowers to the family of Maryanne Leyshon, please visit Tribute Store.
Published on September 6, 2019
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11 posts

Julie Brown
Sep 11, 2019
Maryanne and Cynthia were an integral part of my childhood. I remember endless days playing in the 18 th Street woods. In all kinds of weather. Even before we started school, her kindness and wit were evident. A spunky little peacemaker that didn’t back down. And when she laughed, her nose would crinkle up just like a bunny’s. The world was always a better
place when Maryanne was near. We all loved her.
Toni McKean Collins
Sep 09, 2019
My heart goes out to your family. Maryanne and I started first grade together. I have a lot of memories of our school years. She will be missed.
marie and mickey hado
Sep 08, 2019
What a very special lady you were all blessed to have in your lives. So very sorry for your loss, dear family and friends of Maryanne. Our prayers are with you. She was a real "trooper" as my mom would have said.
Susan Mudrey Helmetzi
Sep 08, 2019
My deepest sympathy to your family. During high school I was a classmate of Cynthia’s. Her sweet sister spent a lot of time with us. Many years have passed and memories still linger 🙏🏻
Mary Ellen Gollan
Sep 08, 2019
Being your friend was my true privilege. You gave more than you got to everyone. God be with you now and for eternity.
Rene (Greenburg) McIntire
Sep 08, 2019
So many wonderful Pa. memories.deepest sympathy .
Carol and Jay Laskey
Sep 07, 2019
We will greatly miss Maryanne’s thoughtfulness and fabulous personality. No matter how busy she was, she never forgot to send a birthday or holiday card to our mother. We loved her very much.
Nataly Laskey
Sep 07, 2019
Maryanne always had a smile on her face. She brought a positive energy everywhere she went and it was always a blessing to be in her presence. She was so proud of her family, especially her grandchildren and so grateful that she was able to share in their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. She will be missed by all of us. Love Always.
Marcy and Bob McCarthy
Sep 07, 2019
Though only meeting Maryanne a few times while she was visiting Cynthia and William in Texas, we were greatly impressed with her as an accomplished and loving woman who excelled in all she did. We are deeply saddened by her passing.
Ronald H Patterson
Sep 07, 2019
Maryanne & I were classmates through school she was a great friend she will be missed.
SHS Class of 1964
Sep 07, 2019
Don & Family- Our hearts are broken at the loss of our beloved classmate and your cherished wife/other/sister, Maryanne. Her smile and her enthusiasm for life in general were always so contagious. We will miss her so. We pray God will guide you all through these sad days and grant you all the peace of having loved her and shared her exciting, sun-filled life.