In Loving

Deborah-Lyn Elizabeth Leininger

February 12, 1953-August 7, 2023

Deborah-Lyn Elizabeth Leininger [McGinn Trimmer],  70, of Glen Allen, Virginia, USA, passed away on August 7th, 2023, while sleeping peacefully at home.

Over our 21 years of marriage, Deborah has shared many tales of the numerous adventures she has experienced throughout her life. I’m going to share only a small portion of her life here, hoping that it conveys the amazing and wonderful person she was.

Deborah was born Deborah-Lyn Trimmer on February 12th, 1953, in Newport News, Virginia, to proud parents Phil and Jackie Trimmer.  Deb’s father Phil was an aspiring young physician, still completing medical school when Deb was born. Phil and Jackie worked hard to put Phil through medical school, and then established his very successful medical practice in Richmond, Virginia, where Deborah was raised, along with her younger siblings, Terri, and “little” Phil.  Deborah (Debbie to her immediate family when she was young), was also sometimes called “Apple” by her father, and “Rascal” by her grandmother.  Her grandparents helped raise her, and she loved them and her uncle Jimmy most dearly.

From early childhood, Deborah enjoyed dancing and performing, reading, going to the cinema with her uncle Jimmy, live concerts, breeding & raising dogs, frequently visiting her daddy at work, and swimming. Deb was very talented, both academically and artistically. She loved to do “boy” things too, such as playing in the woods and houses under construction, climbing trees, hunting and fishing with her grandfather, racing slot cars, riding her “boys” bike, and skipping rocks on the James River.  She also loved going to the beach and collecting interesting shells and rocks. Her grandma taught her how to cook and sew. She loved cooking with her grandma.

Deborah lost her father in January of 1969, while he was flying his plane back to Virginia from Florida.  Later, when her mother moved away to Philadelphia, Deborah chose to stay in Virginia, living with her grandparents.  Deborah dropped out of high school and worked several jobs to save  money to travel around the country. Her jobs included working as a route manager for the Richmond Times Dispatch and working behind the Hertz car rental counter at the Richmond airport.  She met a variety of celebrities while working for Hertz at the airport and was even invited and attended an after-concert party with Crosby, Stills, and Nash.  Another evening, while driving to a Jethro Tull concert, she assisted a guy who was walking across the James River bridge.  He was unusually dressed and happened to be going to the same concert.  She dropped him off by the side door and went on to go into the concert, only then discovering that the guy she helped was Ian Anderson.

Deborah traveled the United States in her car with her two dogs, camping and visiting nearly every state. She eventually stopped in California, for a little while, when she ran out of money. She quickly discovered that California was not the place for her and worked hard creating and selling arts & crafts to earn enough money to travel back to the east coast.

Deb lived for a while along the east coast, in Connecticut and back in Virginia, and finally settled in Philadelphia with her mother and stepfather.  Deb eventually moved out on her own, earning money waiting on tables. After Deb had been stalked at her apartment by a stranger, a friend taught her how to use and care for a handgun. He took her to a shooting range, allowed her to use several of his firearms, and when he felt she was ready, he allowed her to have one of her choosing from his collection. Ever since, Deb has enjoyed target shooting as a hobby. She later took up photography.  Having an extraordinary eye for photography,  Deb found shooting photos as cathartic as shooting targets.

Deb worked in print advertising with a Philadelphia firm until becoming pregnant with Patricia. She was fortunate to get laid off at the right time, in part due to being harassed by Dave Thomas of Wendy’s fame. Following the encounter,  Deb said that Dave was not a nice man, although her description of the encounter was somewhat more colorful.

While in Philadelphia Deborah met and married her first husband of 20 years, Michael McGinn, and lived her lifelong dream of homemaking and raising a family.  Together,  Deb and Mike raised two wonderful children, Patricia and Daniel. She spent the next years raising her children as a stay-at-home mom and was very involved in their upbringing.

Deborah received her GED while in Philadelphia. She received recognition for having the highest score that year (maybe ever in recorded history, I’m not sure). She enjoyed writing as much as reading, but was reluctant to show her writing to others, so made the decision to never publish anything (but probably should have).

After nearly running a local priest over with her bicycle (on several occasions), they struck up a conversation.  He asked her if she liked to read, to which she replied “of course”, so he asked her to wait a minute while he went into the church and came out with a book on Catholicism. Deb read the book, studied it with the priest, and eventually became Catholic.  Deb had already been Christian, and her religion was very important to her.  Michael was raised Catholic, so they had their marriage blessed and raised their family in Catholic tradition.

Deb and Mike were in the middle of a divorce when I entered her life.  A life-long friend of mine lived across the street from Deb in Philadelphia. My friend assumed that, because she was divorcing, she would like to meet someone new.  He repeatedly asked her if she’d like to meet his friend Jim from Virginia, and she repeatedly said no. She already knew me, but as his friend Jim from Florida, so she thought that Jim from Virginia was somebody else, and she hadn’t even completed the divorce yet.  Eventually she acquiesced, if for no other reason than to cease his persistence in the matter . It worked. She heard nothing from him about it for a while, until one day when I was coming up to visit. Deb was outside working in her garden, covered with dirt, when my friend called her to let her know that we were at a local carnival, and she could come over and meet me if she wanted to. She was so frustrated that he kept trying to fix her up, that she decided to show him.  She said OK and proceeded to wash off just enough dirt so as to not get her car messed up and drove to the carnival where we met (for the 2nd time).  I didn’t care about the dirt, and neither did she.  We got along well, dated for a while through some good and bad times, and were married in July of 2002.

We had many good times and had planned to grow old together. Deborah was a wonderful, intelligent, emotional, empathetic, energetic, generous, talented, and beautiful person.  She found much of her colorful wardrobe at Goodwill and similar places and put together fantastic outfits.  She was also skilled at matching clothes and gifts to others and would quickly give away possessions or buy something for someone if it called out to her, and she always seemed right on target.  She loved children, and was very good with them, and they had fun and learned with her.  The neighborhood kids would frequently visit (with their parents’ permission), and she loved having them over. She and I enjoyed going for long drives to nowhere specific and exploring nature and history. She enjoyed her photography and music, especially George Harrison and the Beatles, but not just that; She has probably seen more famous artists and groups in live performances than I’ve listened to on recordings. Before she got too ill, she was studying to become a lector at our church, and she excelled at that too. That’s about the time we first noticed her declining health slowly taking her life away from her. We’ve both been sad for a while due to her waning health.

She is finally free.

She was preceded in death by her parents Phil Errington Trimmer Jr. and Janie Jacquelyn “Jackie” [Barnard Trimmer] Sartori, her grandparents Hubert and Bertha [Hanby] Barnard, her uncle James “Jimmy” Barnard, and her daughter Patricia Marie McGinn.

Surviving family members include her husband Marvin James “Jim” Leininger Jr., her son Daniel Patrick McGinn, her brother Phil Errington Trimmer III, and her sister Terri Lee [Trimmer] Hicks.

A private service will be held at a future time yet to be determined, at Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Glen Allen, VA (  The service will be broadcast on Facebook Live (  The Interment will be private.

Memorials may be given to a charity of your choosing or help someone in need. Deborah greatly enjoyed helping others, and I think that would honor her the most.