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In Memory of Janet Leaf

Funeral Services

A 'Celebration of Life' will be held on June 5th from 3:00-6:00pm at The Orchard in Baldwin, WI.

Janet Marie Leaf died peacefully on April 30, 2016, surrounded by family at the American Lutheran Home in Menomonie, WI. She was born on June 8, 1924, in Milwaukee, WI daughter of Dr. Harold C Deutsch and Marie Frey Deutsch.

During her youth, she traveled with her parents to Europe before World War II, and after high school graduation in Minneapolis, MN, she worked in Washington DC in the OSS (precursor to the CIA) during the War.

Janet earned a BA degree magna cum laude and a Master of Science in Plant Pathology (1951) at the University of Minnesota.

After she married Robert E. Leaf on June 12, 1948, in Minneapolis, they started dairy farming in Afton, MN and later moved to a farm in Woodville, WI.  In her mid-thirties, Janet contracted polio. She spent six months at the Kinney Institute in Minneapolis, and had to learn to walk again. Her battle with polio did not prevent her from raising her family on the farm and pursuing her interests such as gardening, sewing, and reading. Her creative talents were reflected in her many sewing projects for her family and as gifts to others.

Always staying busy, she worked as a US Census taker and as the Librarian of the Woodville Public Library.  After moving off the farm, Janet utilized her degree by working for the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association for 7 years. She followed this by yet another venture, moving to Milwaukee, to work as a legal assistant for 10 years.

Upon retirement, Janet settled in Roseville, MN to enjoy her grandchildren and began pursuing her lifelong love of history.  Janet not only read extensively about the Civil War (she had over 80 books on the topic), she made many trips to Civil War Historical Sites.  She could recite the Gettysburg Address from memory. Janet also loved to follow the trails of the Indian Wars. 

Her generosity of spirit was demonstrated by her many charitable contributions.

Janet was survived by eight children; Catherine Leaf of Madison, WI; Linda Leaf of Milwaukee; Sheila (Larry) Jaeger of Punta Gorda, FL; Robin Leaf of Denver, CO; Michael (Teri) Leaf of Eau Claire, WI; Jennifer Leaf (Dennis Hand) of St James City, FL; Jeffery (Jane) Leaf of Baldwin, WI; Matthew (Vicki) Leaf of Colorado Springs, CO; 8 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren.  She also is survived by a sister, Dorothy Thews; a brother Harold C (Georjann) Deustch Jr.; and many nieces and nephews.

Janet was preceded in death by her parents, brother in-law Richard Thews, son in-law Charles Ollivier, and nephew Eric Thews.

A “Celebration of Life” will be held on June 5th from 3:00-6:00pm at The Orchard in Baldwin, WI.

Cremation services are being provided by O’Connell Family Funeral Home and Countryside Crematory of Baldwin WI.

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Janet's Tribute Wall

Tributes (8):

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    • To the Leaf Family:
      I came to know your mom when she lived in Roseville and she came to our dental office. What a small world to discover she was from my hometown and her children knew my siblings. I was her Dental Hygienist for many years before she left and moved to Menomonie. We had many great visits over the years and so enjoyed it when I saw her name on my schedule. I am sorry I missed her Tribute day today. ( I didn’t know if it).
      Please know what a great woman she was, she told lots of great stories of her children and grandchildren–and g. grandchildren and was so proud of all of you. My deepest sympathies to you all.
      Cheryl (Hurtgen) Symonik

    • We were blessed to get to spend time with Janet this past fall and winter at ALH. Our 5 year old enjoyed sneaking in a surprise visit with her weekly while visiting his grandfather. They always had a smile and giggle for one another. She will be remembered always. Blessings to you all.

    • Mike and Teri, So sorry about your loss. Our sympathy and prayers are with you. Kent and Wanda

    • My deepest sympathy to the family in your loss of Janet. It was my pleasure to know her for over two years as a volunteer at the ALH. She was so knowledgable and loved to talk of things she did and places she had been, yet I had no idea she had such a large family, had two degrees, or traveled as extensively. She was always so grateful for any little thing I did for her. I will miss her.

    • Mike and Cathy,

      Our thoughts and Prayers are with your family over the lost of your mother

    • Cathy and Mike …as well as the rest of your family, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you as you say goodbye to your mother. Having just lost my Mom, and now my Dad, I know the great sorrow you’re feeling. Take Care…
      Steve Peterson

    • To the Leaf Family,
      Deepest sympathy to all of you for the loss of your mother. She was a great lady and was so sweet to my mother, keeping in touch with her at the nursing home.

      Emily Lindus

    • Matt and family,
      Deepest sympathy to all of you during this time. She can swap hockey stories with Mom and Dad.

      Randi “Schultz” Tolonen
      Russ and Rose Schultz #4