Sara Leonard, a longtime resident of Chicago, and for over ten years, a member of the Beverly Shores, Indiana community in the Indiana dunes, died peacefully on October 11 after a short illness. Sara was a native of Portage, Wisconsin and a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin. She worked her way through college by spending her summers waitressing on cruise ships which used to sail the Great Lakes. After college, she spent many years working as a public relations specialist for the University of Chicago, Children's Home and Aid and Council for Jewish Elderly. As a single woman supporting herself, she also became a skilled real estate investor. Sara was active in the Lincoln Park community. She was an early supporter of Bill Singer's campaign to become alderman of the 43rd Ward. She was instrumental in seeking community support and raising funds for Richard Hunt's statue "Eagle Columns" in Jonquil Park. Sara's enthusiasm for Italy took her to Florence where she spent three months every winter. She was the best tour guide for many of her friends and family who joined her there over the years. She amazed everyone by not only packing enough clothes, books, and a computer but also brought one of her incorrigible Corgis along for the trip. Sara had wide ranging interests, frequently attending the Chicago Symphony and theater and was a longtime member of the Chicago Arts Club. In Beverly Shores, Sara became active in environmental causes. She was a former Board Member and stayed involved as a member of the Advisory Council of the Shirley Heinze Land Trust. And she was Chairman of the Town of Beverly Shores Green Space Committee. She was very interested in birds and wrote an entertaining monthly column about the birds of the Indiana Dunes for a local newsletter in Beverly Shores. Sara was a role model as an example of a woman who independently stayed active, outspoken and interested in being a part of her community up until just three weeks ago. Sara was predeceased by her parents James and Elinor (Lennon) Leonard. She is survived by her sister Catherine Koehn of Lodi, Wisconsin and Cathie's sons James, Michael, Patrick and Sean. Sara's ashes will be buried in the Leonard family gravesite in Portage, Wisconsin. A celebration of Sara's life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Shirley Heinz Land Trust, Meadowbrook Conservation and Preserve,109 West 700 North, Valparaiso, IN 46385.
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