Susan Whitney Leonard
Friday, March 8, 1940
Date of Death:
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
79 years old
Susan Whitney Leonard
Susan Whitney Leonard, 79, passed away on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus.
Sue was born in Rochester, Minnesota on March 8, 1940, the daughter of Lucian and Mary Smith. Sue went to Rochester High School and University of Colorado in Boulder. Sue married Larry Leonard in 1958 in Rochester, Minnesota, where they lived until 1972 when they moved to Lake Zumbro. She spent the rest of her days at the lake enjoying close friends and their tight-knit community.
Sue loved horses and swimming growing up. She loved music and was a beloved piano teacher for 62 years in Rochester. Sue taught many students over the years and was very involved in the piano world, judging piano contests and theory in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, was a member of Minnesota Music Teachers Association and Rochester Area Keyboard Club. She liked watching the Vikings, boating, four wheeling, dancing, flower gardening and, most of all, her family. She was a loving wife, mother, and the best grandma! Last summer, Sue and Larry celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a great party of family and friends. She will live on in our hearts and memories forever.
Sue is survived by her husband, Larry; her two daughters, Patty (Mike) Marsh and Julie Quinn (Scot Johnson); four grandchildren, Shannon (Todd) Fitzgibbons, Erin (Adam) Huneke, Colin Quinn and Hannah Quinn; and four great-grandchildren, Madelyn, Owyn, Madison, and Kaila. She is also survived by her brothers, Lucian Smith, Bob (Karen) Smith; and her sisters Lynne (Bob) Diebel, and Ginny Smith; sisters-in-law, Mary Jackson, Mona Leonard, and Phyllis Leonard; brother-in-law Tom (Carol) Leonard; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her in-laws Lawrence and Catherine Leonard, sisters-in-law Teri Smith and Virginia Boutelle, and brothers-in-law Charles Jackson, Don Leonard, Joe Leonard, and Dwight Boutelle.
The Memorial Service for Sue will be at 11:30 a.m. on February 3, 2020 at the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home (1105 12th Street SE), with Rev. Carla Werre officiating. A visitation will be starting at 10:00 a.m. before the service.
The family of Susan Whitney Leonard has received the following condolences.
Sue was my piano teacher from elementary through high school. Once a week, I'd come to Rochester from Spring Valley and spend the hour with Sue. She even attended my senior recital at Macalester College 4 years after I no longer took lessons from her. She was an excellent, talented, patient, accomplished teacher and I will forever be impacted by her teachings. My sympathies to her family.
Justine and I just learned of Sue's death from Jana Kingham Schwartz. We send our deepest sympathy to Larry and the entire family.bv
I was so sorry to hear of Sue's passing. I was a piano student of hers during junior high and high school. What a kind, patient, motivating, accomplished, and intelligent teacher. I never wanted to disappoint her! Sue held herself with class and grace. My sincere condolences to her family. Sue was a gem!
Maria Lindstrom Pretzer
Park Rapids, MN
We are all so sorry to hear of Sue's passing! Please know we are thinking of your family, and especially you, Ginny. We hope all your happy memories are a comfort to you. With love, Marcia, Barbara, Diane, Cynthia and Michael Morrison, from Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Oh Sue.... she was so wonderful. I knew her since I was a young girl and a student of Marjorie Lidstrom in Rochester. I think of her now with lovely memories.
What a sad day to learn of the passing of Sue Leonard. Both our daughters learned to play piano with Sue from age 6, and both were very blessed to have been under her expert tutelage. She was always kind-hearted and showed great interest in our daughters and their activities. I can only imagine the vast number of lives she touched in a positive way and helped to nurture to adulthood through a shared love of music. She was a very special person and we will miss her greatly. Our condolences to all the family.
We are so sad and shocked at the loss of this wonderful woman. We are not native Minnesotans and have no family here in Rochester. Through her kindness, patience, skill, and of course her smile and love, Sue became an important part of a family. Know that in your hour of grieving, Sue's legacy will endure through our son's music and the music of all the children whose lives she made richer. May God bless and keep Larry and all of Sue's family.
Prayers and condolences to the family!
Amazing friend and piano teacher, Sue will be always remember for her kindness!
Dear Leonard family,
Sorry for your loss! My son - Lawton always says Sue is the best piano teacher. We love her! We are missing her! She will live in our heart and memory forever!
Our thoughts and prayers with you!
Dear Leonard family,
Sorry for your loss! Sue is such a wonderful person and great piano teacher. Sue has taught my daughters for many years, she helped them to develop the love and appreciation to music, she gave such positive influence to their personal growth! Sue will live in our heart and memory forever!
Our thoughts and prayers with you!
Mrs. Leonard was my piano teacher for nearly 10 years. I was so sad to hear of her passing. Ten years is a long time to work with someone-- by the time I stopped taking lessons, I had spent most of my life learning from her! Sue was so good at what she did. She was always encouraging, never mean or harsh, but by no means a pushover. She was the kind of person you never wanted to let down, who inspired you to work hard. It's a joy to be able to understand and appreciate music, and to be able to make music, a joy that Mrs. Leonard has given me. Whenever I sit down at a piano I will think of her, and she lives on in the music of her many students. Wishing her family the best in this difficult time.
So sorry to hear about Sue she always had a smile on her face. Favorite customer of mine! Rest In Peace! Deborah Logan
Dear Leonard Family,
I was so sorry to read of Sue's passing. She was my piano teacher almost 20 years ago when I started taking lessons as an adult. Sue was very patient with me as I took lessons and practiced around my children's activities and my work schedule. She was lovely and accomplished and I enjoyed my time with her. You have my sympathy.
Larry & family
Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
Rich & Judy Koperski
Dearest Ginny and Sue’s family, What a shock it was to hear of Sue’s passing. My memories date back to my high school years at the piano with Sue as my teacher and through many years of hearing about her adventures with her sisters. I am so sorry that I cannot be there for the memorial service but please know that my heart aches for your loss.
We are so sorry to hear. Our kids loved taking piano lessons from Sue the last 6 years. We’ll miss her positive energy and encouragement. Lots of love to your family.
Dear Larry, Richard, Lynne, Ginny and family.
Whenever we happened to see Susan and Larry I loved talking to her and remembering our childhood days.
Susan, was always smiling and delightful to be around, and always a very gentle soul.
I am sorry we cannot be with you at her visitation or funeral services, our granddaughter is performing a solo in her high school choral event in Stoughton Monday evening.
Larry & family: Very sorry to hear of Sue’s passing. We are friends from the 70’s and have you in our thoughts. Scott & Susanne Silker
Words are so empty at a time like this. We love the family and send out hearts and hugs, love to all.
It is with sad heart as I heard of Sue’s passing. We had such great times together, I remember her great support of me as I announced the water shows. And our great snow mobile ventures. I’m sure she will be talking to Shirley in Heaven, and they will reminisce the past. Peace be with the family Dave Bronte
Sorry to hear this Julie.
Our prayers & thoughts are always with you & your family during this sad moment.