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Serving Dane County since 1922.

Sigurd William Leskinen

March 23, 1937 July 8, 2020
Sigurd William Leskinen
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Obituary for Sigurd William Leskinen

MADISON - Sigurd William Leskinen, age 83, of Madison, passed away on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at UW Hospital and Clinics. He was born on March 23, 1937, in Madison, the son of Sigurd A. Leskinen and Julia (Pagel) Leskinen. Sigurd attended Madison East High School class of 1955. He joined the U.S. Army National Guard during high school and served from 1954 until 1956 as a dental technician. Sigurd married his high school sweetheart, Marlyne Schwartz, on April 23, 1955, at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Madison and spent 61 wonderful years together.

Sigurd had great pride at being a skilled tradesman and he was a master electrician. He retired from the University of Wisconsin in 2002 as head of their electric shop. He was a long-time member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Sigurd enjoyed the shooting sports and was a member of the Wisconsin Practical Pistol League and the NRA, where he won many trophies for competitive shooting. Sig served his community as a volunteer bell ringer for The Salvation Army for many years and was a regular blood donor for the American Red Cross.

Sigurd had his private pilot’s license for 57 years and loved flying - it was a dream of his from childhood. He especially loved flying his Sonerai which he home built himself and completed in 1976, and his Cessna 170B. He was a lifetime EAA member and one of his favorite things to do was head to Oshkosh for the Air Venture Fly-in. He was very handy and loved spending time making and fixing things.

Sigurd loved the outdoors, especially fishing, hunting, camping and playing golf in his retirement. He was an avid Harley Davidson rider and loved riding with his family. Most of all, his family meant everything to him and would do anything to help. Sig had great pride in his family and his Finnish heritage.

Sigurd is survived by his sons, William (Rebecca) Leskinen and Thomas (Klare) Leskinen; daughters, Victoria Leskinen and Melanie Wichern (Wolf Kartenbeck); grandchildren, Nicholas (Dana) Otterback, Meda (Michael) Szlapka, Margaret (James) Babb, Josh Wichern, Wiley Leskinen and Ethan Leskinen; great-grandchildren, Olivia Szlapka, Cale, Mya , Wyatt , Sven and Milly Otterback ; brothers, Richard Leskinen (Michael Hill) and Terry “Shorty” (Carla) Leskinen; sister, Pam (David ) Horn; and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marlyne; his parents; in-laws, Thomas (Meda) Schwartz; and infant brother, Otto Leskinen.

A private graveside burial will be held at HIGHLAND MEMORY GARDENS on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Memorials may be made to The Salvation Army or The EAA Experimental Aircraft Association.

The family would like to thank the entire staff at UW Health and Coventry Village Independent Living for the care and support that they have given Sig and the entire family during this difficult time. Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive
(608) 221-5420


Event Information

Services are private.

Memorial Contribution

EAA Experimental Aircraft Association

P. O. Box 3816
Oshkosh, WI 54903-3816

Salvation Army


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