MADISON-Sarah Emma Hamilton Leonhardt left this earthly world for a better place on Saturday, March 9, 2013. She passed peacefully at Oakwood Village, her second home, knowing she was in God’s hands and not alone.

Born on May 2, 1929, in Westfield, Wisc., Sarah was the eldest daughter of Tom and Minnie Hamilton. She graduated from Westfield High School in 1947, as class Valedictorian. An accomplished seamstress and cook (her mashed potatoes were the grandkids favorite), she married Walter R. Leonhardt on Sept. 23, 1950 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Westfield and remained happily married for 54 years, until Walter’s passing in April, 2004. His Sari was a wonderful mother to three children, Judy, Tom and Jean.

Sarah and Walter met on a blind date. There was an instant attraction and they married 8 months later. At the time Sarah had come to Madison to work at Oscar Mayer until she settled down to have a family. Never one to remain idle, she began a second career at Rennebohm Drug Stores. She worked her way up to store manager before Walgreens bought out Rennebohm’s in 1980. She continued to work for Walgreens until Walter’s health declined and she chose to care for him at home. Upon his death she resumed her career with Walgreens until her retirement in 2006. A caring and generous soul, Sarah could light up a room with her smile and laughter.

Sarah and Walter worked together at the Dane County Coliseum, working as ushers for numerous events including Wisconsin Hockey games. She was an avid Badger, Brewers and Green Bay Packers fan. Sari and Walter traveled extensively taking the family on several memorable trips out west to Colorado and California and Alaska. Sarah always knew how to make time for fun. She was a gracious hostess of numerous parties for family and friends; camping in the back acre, swimming in the pool, cod boils for Labor Day Weekend. Sarah was the queen of cooking and enjoyed doing so … the more, the merrier, and sometimes with a martini in hand. She especially enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren from playing Euchre (leaving them wondering how she always got the best hands) to making them her special dinosaur pancakes. She was the best wife, mom, grandma, friend one could have.

Sarah is survived by her children, Judy (Paul ), Tom (Renee), and Jean (Tom). There are also seven adoring grandchildren who will miss her smile and laughter and sense of fun way too much, Emma, Kurt and Grant Zoch, Kyle and Jake Leonhardt, and Mitch and Holly Anderson. She is further survived by her brothers, Keith (Elaine) Hamilton and Willard (Joann) Hamilton; sisters, Donna (Rhynie) Baumann and Shirley (Matt) Boden; brother-in-law, Eugene (Rosemary); and many nieces and nephews. She also is survived by her beloved Roby, her companion during Walter’s illness, death, and her years at the house.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter; her parents; her brother , Calvin and his wife Hilda; her brothers and sisters-in-law, Elmer and Arlene Leonhardt; Florence and Dave Drotning and Lorraine and Deane Mackey.

A special thank you for Sarah’s care goes out to Dr. Albert Musa, and Sarah’s long time caregivers and good friends, Bev and Jim Mosel. They are true angels.

A Celebration of Sarah’s life will be held at HOPE LUTHERAN CHURCH, 3702 County Road AB, McFarland, at Noon on Saturday, March 16, 2013. Burial will be at Highland Memory Gardens. Visitation will be held at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Saturday.

Memorials:
Memorials may be made to Hope Lutheran Church or Agrace HospiceCare.

Visitation:
Visitation will be held at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Saturday.

Service:
A Celebration of Sarah’s life will be held at HOPE LUTHERAN CHURCH, 3702 County Road AB, McFarland, at Noon on Saturday, March 16, 2013.