John “Jack” Sebastian Leonard, 89, passed peacefully on October 31, 2019 at VA Hospital surrounded by his loving family.
Born January 20, 1930 in Dodgeville to Edward Sylvester and Mary Amelia (Girardin) Leonard, Jack grew up in Hollandale and attended Moscow Center Rural School, then Dodgeville High School, and finally graduated from the UW-Madison Agricultural Short Course.
After joining the United States Navy, Jack became based in Newport, Rhode Island to serve on the repair ship USS Yosemite. While instrument training during his Navy years offered Jack the skills to repair typewriters and other equipment, his early interest in fixing things began at age 12 when his aunt gave him a broken clock. He started fixing clocks and watches in high school. Post-Navy, Jack worked as a customer engineer for Remington-Rand Corp.
On October 19, 1968 Jack married the love of his life, Agnes Dorothy Karls at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Waunakee. The couple resided in Madison, and so Jack decided to branch out on his own in 1975 opening Leonard Typewriter Service, which any Madisonian with a Smith-Corona or Brother knew the fix-it shop locale on the corners of Old University and Highland... long after typewriters grew out of fashion. Jack retired and closed up shop in 2004.
All the years he spent working on typewriters, he never learned to type!
While typing itself was not a strong suit, telling stories and reciting humorous quotes were definitely what Jack was good at. Every single morning in retirement, Jack could be seen on a chair with fellow buddies, drinking coffee, eating donuts and shooting the breeze at Parman’s Service Station on Monroe Street or the VA Hospital. “Money isn’t everything, but it sure beats whatever the heck is in second place!” Was a common Jack-ism. His quiet humor and quick-to-smile manner will be missed.
Jack Leonard was a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, The Madison Dominic Club, The Knights of Columbus, the Hollandale American Legion Post, and the Model T Club. A very devout Catholic, his faith was very important to him, as was his Irish Heritage. He loved to laugh, Polka, and sought out the comradery and good of people. In his last days, Jack was comforted by the fact that his former typewriter business could be seen from the window of his room at hospice.
Jack is survived by his wife Agnes; children Suzanne of Verona, Margaret (Jim Sigg) of Hollandale, Ann (Jon-Paul Shannahan) of Bellingham, WA, Mary of Madison, John (Kristin Helker) of Madison, and Kate (Bret Pasch) of Flagstaff, AZ; and his grandchildren Jack, Luke, Isla, Mary, Catherine, Helen, and Josephine. He is preceded in death by his parents and brothers Frank, Joe, and Paul.
A visitation for Jack will be held on Monday, November 4, 2019 from 4:00 until 7:00 PM at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Madison. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the same location on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 11:00 AM, with a luncheon immediately following. Burial will be Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 10:30 AM at the Calvary Cemetery on highway 39 outside of Hollandale. The Olaf Martinson American Legion Post of Hollandale will provide military rites.
Jack’s family would like to thank the staff of New Glarus Home and Madison VA Hospital for the extraordinary kindness they showed while he was in their care.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Jack’s name to Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital or Blessed Sacrament Parish at the following addresses:
Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church
Community Relations (135) 2116 Hollister Avenue
2500 Overlook Terrace Madison WI 53726
Madison, WI 53705
Saether Funeral Service of Blanchardville is assisting the family.
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