Mary Amend Eimer Leinbach, whose ties to Greenwich cover a lifetime, died peacefully June 16, 2017 at the age of 96 at Nathaniel Wherewithal Nursing Facility.
Mary was born on January 9, 1921 and raised on the Upper West Side of New York City, the daughter of the late Carl Bernard and Dorothy Barber Eimer. She had two brothers, August and Carl, Jr., both of whom died young.
The Eimer family, and subsequently Mary herself, owned Shell Island, just off the shore of Byram; as a young girl, Mrs. Leinbach spent many happy summers there. The stone tower on the island, built to honor her Uncle Gus, is still a landmark for sailors on the Sound. The island is now owned by the Greenwich Land Trust.
Mary graduated from Middlebury College in 1942, having majored in American Literature and Music and served as president of her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta.
Wartime, she worked for a doctor at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Then, in 1946, planning for a quiet vacation in Bermuda, she instead met her husband-to-be, John Delong Leinbach, and a whirlwind romance ensued. The couple met in August, were engaged by Labor Day, and married on November 28th.
The newlyweds built a home on Byram Shore Road and lived there throughout their almost 64 years of happy marriage prior to John’s death, also at the age of 96, on April 18, 2010.
Surviving Mary are her three sons: John, Jr., who lives in Torrance, California; Robert, a resident of Byram Shore Road; Thomas, senior pastor at the First Congregational Church in Harwich, Massachusetts; and a daughter, Martha Lotito, who lives in Lake Forest, California.
She has seven adoring grandchildren, six step-grandchildren and two recent great-grandsons whom she was overjoyed to meet before her passing. She is also survived by cousin Dee Osborn, a longtime Greenwich resident.
Mary was an avid golfer, tennis player and bridge enthusiast. She served on the board of the Community Chest, was the first ever volunteer at Greenwich High School, drove for Meals-on-Wheels for many years and had long been a college consultant, donating her fees to the First and Second Congregational churches. Mary also sang in the choir of the First Congregational Church for over 40 years and was a Stephen Minister.
In recent years, her room at Nathaniel Witherell was a veritable revolving door of friends and loved ones from all generations and walks of life—a testament to her gregarious and generous nature. She was an inspiration to all who knew and loved her.
A memorial celebration of Mary’s life will be held at First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 12:00 noon.
Burial is in the family plot at Kensico Cemetery. Any donations in Mary’s name can be made to First Congregational Church, 108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich, CT 06870.