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Leon B. Sanville

Jul 05, 1937 - Jan 18, 2021


Leon B. Sanville, 83, of Sheboygan, WI entered the glories of Heaven on January 18, 2021. In Leon’s last days in this life, his family was by his side.

Leon was born on July 5, 1937 in Sheboygan to Lester and Dorothy (Reinemann) Sanville. He was a 1955 graduate of Sheboygan North High School. He then attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, graduating in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He lived briefly in California before returning to Sheboygan to attend Lakeland College. He then went on to teach at Antigo High School in 1960, Waldo High School in 1961, and Oostburg High School from 1962 until his retirement in 1997, receiving commendation for his 37 years in education.

On August 20, 1963, Leon Sanville was united in marriage to Jean Hermann at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sheboygan. They shared 16 love-filled years together before Jean preceded him in death in 1979. Leon did find love again, and in 1982 he was united in marriage to Dorothy Lewis at St. Peter Claver Parish in Sheboygan. She preceded him in death in 2014.

Leon was known and loved by many as a friendly, caring and thoughtful man of faith who made friends easily. You could say that among Leon’s many interests, making friends and staying in touch with them was one of his favorite pursuits. Hobbies like photography, collecting books and artwork, genealogy, research, and music (his piano playing was a favorite of many) all led back to the same goal for Leon–being helpful and Christ-like to the people he met and knew. Those qualities were especially appreciated by Leon’s students at Oostburg High School. To this day, Leon’s students and colleagues still talk about the kind and understanding man Leon was.

Behind all of Leon’s kindness and friendliness was a devotion to his Savior Jesus. Leon would gladly share the love of God with anyone whom he came across–young, old, rich, poor–Leon treated everyone with the same unconditional respect and love.

The last words on Leon’s list entitled “At My Death/My Funeral” were these: “I’m alive in Christ–don’t get bent out of shape with details. Keep it simple. Feel joy!” And joy is what we feel knowing that Leon is with Jesus, along with those that he loved who went before him. What a blessing he was to so very many!

He is survived by his children, Tom (Lorie) Sanville of Sheboygan, WI; Ed Sanville of New Hope, MN; Susan Gates of Elkhart Lake, WI; and Kathy (Bryan) Grefsheim of Tomah, WI; his step-children, Tim (Marilyn) Grant of Kenosha, WI; Jennifer (Steve) Haworth of Whitehall, MI; his grandchildren, Tom (Alexandra) Abromaitis of Appleton, WI; Sam (fiance Alexis Appell) Hilpertshauser of Tomah, WI; Katie Grant of Kenosha, WI; Alex (Elisha) Grant of Trevor, WI; and Marcus Haworth of South Bend, IN; great-grandchildren, Cillian Abromaitis, and Cillian and Annabelle Grant; sister-in-law, Helen (Michael) Magulski; brother-in-law, James (Judy) Lewis; along with nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.

In addition to his parents and wives, he was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Jeanne Hilpertshauser; his son-in-law, John Gates; his sister-in-laws, Archie (Harold) Chvarak, Hildegarde (Fred) Weber, Mary Hermann, Gertrude Lewis, Joan Lewis, Margaret Hudson, Kathryn Fitzgerald, Genevieve McManus, Carol Koerschner and Mary Lewis; and brother-in-law, Robert Lewis.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate Leon’s life on Saturday, January 30, 2021 at Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home, 1535 S. 12th Street, Sheboygan, WI from 10:00 a.m. until the service begins at 12:00 p.m. Father Paul Fliss of St. Peter Claver Parish will officiate, with a private burial to take place at Wildwood Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of your choice in Leon’s name.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff at Sheboygan Health Services and Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice for the loving care they provided.

“Together with God Forever”


Date: Saturday Jan 30, 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
Location: Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home [map]

Funeral Service

Date: Saturday Jan 30, 2021
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Location: Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home [map]



Guestbook Entries SIGN GUESTBOOK

Steve & Nancy Mannchen

To Leon's Family - What a life Leon lived! I met him when I began teaching at Oostburg High School and we became friends there. He helped me so much when I took over the yearbook and with so many other life lessons. I remember with a smile the "Senior Room" he allowed in the library which seniors loved very much. He was a gentleman and a scholar. When I left Oostburg Leon gave me a set of crystal glasses which I still use. Whenever I have them out I am reminded of his love for history and what is most precious in our lives. Peace and joy to all of you, Nancy Mannchen

Nancy Gapinski

We are so grateful to have known Leon's smile and joy for life. His annual Christmas card and letter were always something we looked forward to receiving. The choir of angels has another keyboard player. So blessed to have known him. The Gapinski's

Jerry Kohlbeck

Leon, the librarian, organizer, piano player, husband and good friend. Leon & I became good friends a long time ago. Leon enjoyed his family, his job, his many friendships, and martinis! I did have a way of getting him to laugh and enjoying life. I will miss him!

Joanne Entringer

I have so many cherished memories with one of the best men I ever knew, my dearest friend Leon. He will always bring a smile to my heart. I love his family like my own. God bless his family.

Ron Niemann

I would usually run into Leon while visiting in town at Tom's house. I always enjoyed the enlightening, entertaining, and spirited conversations we would have. He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Debbie Walsdorf

I will miss you Leon you were so good to me even treated my like one of your own loved to talk sports with him especially Wisconsin sports teams because he was a huge Chicago fan will miss you my friend Debbie

Tony and Jean (Wagar) Heinen

Both of us graduated from Oostburg in 1973 and had fond memories of Mr. Sanville. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

Cindy Heinen

I graduated from OHS in 1976. I was married in 1977 and wanted Mr Sanville to play piano at our reception. He didn't feel piano music was a good option so directed me to an accordion player (it was a different time!). But my sweet memory is that we lived in Madison and one day I came home to find a gift at our door. This was during the time his wife came to Madison for treatment. It was bookends that looked like school desks with books on them. I was always touched that he thought of us with a gift when he was in the midst of so much in his own life. My deep sympathy to you.