Cover photo for Mary Mercado Leger's Obituary
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1930 Mary 2024

Mary Mercado Leger

September 12, 1930 — March 2, 2024

Mary Leger, age 93, transitioned to her Heavenly Home on March 2, 2024 in the early morning.  She passed peacefully with all of her children by her side after a long and difficult battle with dementia-related impairments.  She was strong and resilient to the very end.

Mary was born on September 12, 1930 in Hali’imaile, Maui, Hawaii.  She was the oldest of six children born to Manuel and Petra Vescaino and was raised on the beautiful island of Lanai, Hawaii, fondly known as the Pineapple Island, because of its island-wide pineapple plantation that was then owned by Dole Pineapple.  

Mary graduated from Lanai High School; she was very studious, always striving to attain “A’s”, and loved to read.  Shortly after graduating from high school, Mary moved to the island of Oahu to attend secretarial school.  While there, she was crowned Miss Oahu in the late 1940’s (exact year unknown).

While living on Oahu, she worked at Kuakini Hospital, as well as Kaiser Hospital in the Ala Moana area of Honolulu where she met the hospital’s founder, Henry Kaiser.  

Mary had four children, Roger, Karen, Fred and Barbara.  In January 1970, Mary and the family relocated to San Diego (County), California where she resided until the time of her passing.  She was a devoted single mother who selflessly & sacrificially gave of herself to her children and raised them the best she could. She loved them all unconditionally and was, no doubt, their biggest cheerleader.   She instilled in her children the values of responsibility, respect, honesty, kindness, and being hard-working individuals.

It was very evident that Mary loved her children deeply and cherished being with them whenever possible.  It didn’t matter what was on the agenda, as long as she had her babies close by.  One of her favorite past times was preparing her delicious island recipes for many weekend family BBQs with her children and grandchildren.  

She especially enjoyed shopping with her two daughters, and what a trooper she was!!  She most definitely knew how to “shop til you drop” with her girls!!  

Mary attended Grossmont Community College to further her education and knowledge in the medical field.  She continued her employment with Kaiser Hospital after moving to San Diego in 1970 until November 30, 1999, when she retired after nearly 37 years of dedicated service.  She ended her career as a Supervising Medical Transcriptionist.  She also served as the Secretary of the American Association for Medical Transcription and met many friends during her employment with Kaiser.

Mary and her longtime friend Shigeko spent many mornings hiking to the top of Cowles Mountain or walking at Lake Murray.  They laughed together; they cried together, and always enjoyed sharing life stories, especially about their children whom they both loved so dearly.  

She was a member of a group called Walk About, which was comprised of many individuals who loved to do just that – “walk about” in different places of interest around town.  One of Mary’s memorable trips with her Walk About friends was to Australia and also New Zealand to hike the Milford Track, which was an adventure of a lifetime.  

Raising beautiful orchids brought Mary so much joy!   It was a hobby her mother also enjoyed.   She collected so many different varieties of the flower and was a member of the San Diego Orchid Society.  She could often be found at a nursery or an orchid show admiring the flowers that brought such a big smile to her face.  

Mary is preceded in death by her sisters Anastasia (Ann) and Rufina (Ruby) and her brothers Bonifacio (Bones) and Locadio (Joe).   

She is survived by her four children, Roger Ochoa (Kathy), Karen Ochoa, Fred Leger (Linh) and Barbara Bleichwehl (Andy), her youngest sister Pilajia (Phyl), her five grandchildren Len Leger, Roger Ochoa, Jr., Lisa (Ochoa) Barrett (Josh), Brandon Leger and Justin Leger, and her four Great-Grandchildren, Joshua Ochoa, Kayla Ochoa, Jena Barrett and Jordan Barrett.

A mass will be held on April 16, 2024, 12 Noon, at:

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church

2766 Navajo Road

El Cajon, CA

 

A Celebration of Life will follow from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at:

Pathways Community Church (Multi-Purpose Room)

9626 Carlton Hills Blvd.

Santee, CA

 

Hawaiian or ALOHA attire is welcomed and encouraged.   

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a charitable contribution be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of their mother, Mary.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Mercado Leger, please visit our flower store.

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