Lindsey Funeral Homes

473 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA


Marjorie Wichael Leake

October 17, 1924June 24, 2020

Marjorie Hope Wichael Leake died peacefully on June 24th, 2020, at home. She was 95.

A lifelong Harrisonburg resident, Marjorie was born on October 17, 1924. She was the daughter of the late Elmer W. and Mary Shadwell Shifflett. She lost her mother at an early age and helped raise her two younger brothers while her father found work out of the area in the aftermath of the Great Depression.

She attended Main Street and Waterman schools in Harrisonburg until marrying Desmon E. Wichael on October 26, 1940. She adored her red-headed husband, “Diz.” They had two children, Desmon Wichael II and Marilyn “Sue” Wichael Erdman, both of whom survive. In November 1960, she lost Diz to a tragic construction accident while he was building the Walker Manufacturing plant in Harrisonburg.

On December 23, 1972, she married Brent O. Leake, who had also been widowed. They enjoyed several decades of loving companionship before Brent passed away in 2009.

Always industrious, Marjorie held positions at several local clothing shops over the years, including The Quality Shop, Town & Casual Room, and The Bride’s House in downtown Harrisonburg; the New York Dress Shop in Staunton; and Sidney’s (where she served as manager) and Lazarus, both at Valley Mall. She also worked at JMU Dining Services for several years, where her specialties included cake decorating.

In addition to her two children, she leaves behind her son-in-law and devoted caregiver, George Erdman; stepdaughter Mary Louise Leake; sister-in-law, Cora Shifflett; youngest brother, Jack Shifflett; and stepbrother, Robert Shifflett. Her four grandchildren, Rob Erdman (wife, Dawn), Jori Ann Erdman (husband, Chip Boyles), Anthony Erdman, and Jennifer Erdman Shirkey (husband, Aaron), and her nine great grandchildren also all survive and were the apples of her eye.

In addition to her parents and husbands, she was preceded in death by her daughter-in-law, Doris Wichael; brother Donald Shifflett; and special cousin Thalia Snyder.

The family wishes to extend a special thanks to Karen Martin, Sherry Pandolfi and Lydia Showalter as well as Jae Anaza and Tina Jenkins of Sentara Hospice. They gave loving comfort and care during Marjorie's last days.

“Nanny,” as she was known to family and acquaintances in later life, had a strong and joyous spirit. She was a natural born nurturer. Everyone who came under her care left with clean laundry and a lighter heart. She was a sparkly, spunky people person who loved reading, gospel music, dogs, sewing, and dessert. When asked the hardest thing she had to learn growing up, she replied, "How to keep my mouth shut." She was known for her stylish fashion sense and beautiful snow white hair. She was one of those few about whom could be said, "To know her was to love her." She will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of spending time with her.

A graveside service with family and friends will be held on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 10:00 am at Eastlawn Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Sentara RMH Hospice, c/o the RMH Foundation, 2010 Health Campus Dr., Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

Online condolences may be shared at www.lindseyharrisonburg.com


  • Desmon E. Wichael, II, Son
  • Marilyn "Sue" Wichael Erdman, Daughter
  • George Erdman, Son-in-law
  • Mary Louise Leake, Step-Daughter
  • Cora Shifflett, Sister-in-law
  • Jack Shifflett, Youngest Brother
  • Robert Shifflett, Step-Brother
  • Rob Erdman & wife, Dawn, Grandchild
  • Jori Ann Erdman & husband, Chip Boyles, Grandchild
  • Anthony Erdman, Grandchild
  • Jennifer Erdman Shirkey & husband, Aaron, Grandchild
  • Nine, Great-Grandchildren
  • Desmon E. Wichael, First Husband (deceased)
  • Brent O. Leake, Second Husband (deceased)
  • Mary Shadwell Shifflett, Mother (deceased)
  • Elmer W. Shifflett, Father (deceased)
  • Doris Wichael, Daughter-in-law (deceased)
  • Donald Shifflett, Brother (deceased)
  • Thalia Snyder, Special Cousin (deceased)

  • Sentara RMH Hospice


  • Graveside Service

    Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Marjorie Wichael Leake

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jean Coakley

July 5, 2020

Hi Dez
So sorry of your mothers passing she was a sweet lady
May you remember all the good memories you had together

Diana Ferguson

June 30, 2020

What a special lady. I will always remember her big smile and great laugh. The service today was perfect. Abby's songs were beautiful and the stories shared by Jori, Robbie, Jennifer, and George were heartfelt and enjoyable. I hope Margie's life will be an inspiration to others.

Pat Fisher

June 30, 2020

My name is Pat Fisher. I came to know Marjorie and George through the caregivers group at Reflections in Woodstock. Indeed “To know Marjorie was to love her”. We had some great times of sharing. May you find peace in knowing she touched many others in positive ways.

Sharon Nelson

June 27, 2020

I used to visit Granny Wichael in the little house that was behind Aunt Margie's house. Many summer days spent there. Aunt Margie was always kind and had the most charming smile.
Out deepest sympathy to her family and friends.

Jack May Lynne Smith

June 27, 2020

Fond memories of all the fun Sunday morning visits at the Erdman kitchen with George, Susie, and Margie. All our love, Mary Lynne & Jack

Sandra Shomo

June 26, 2020

I extend my sympathy to you in the death of your Mother. I didn’t know her well but she sounds to have been a really fun loving, friendly lady that lived a full life. I will be out of town the day of the service so want you to know I’ll be thinking of you.
I hope our group of classmates will be able to get together soon. I miss everyone.
Blessings to you, Love, Sandy

Patricia Wichael

June 26, 2020

Des: so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. My sympathy to you. May you find peace in the days to come. Your long time friend,
Patricia Thomas Wichael