Sharon Violet Leppanen

August 15, 1941 ~ December 14, 2012

Sharon passed away peacefully at home in the presence of her husband and family. She was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer in January 2012 and went through several chemo infusions and radiation treatments. Sharon was very courageous and determined to beat the cancer; by this she demonstrated, what we Finns know as, "Sisu," remaining active right up until the last two months.
Sharon met and married her husband, Lynn, in June 1962. That summer they manned a Forest Service fire lookout in Montana. They both graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1963 and moved to the Ranger Station in Kettle Falls, WA. Subsequently, they moved to Sullivan Lake, WA, Yaak, MT, Murphy Lake, MT, Silver Lake, OR, Lake Quinault, WA, Brush Prairie, WA, and finally to their retirement home near Heisson, WA in 1996.
Sharon retired in 2002 from the Evergreen School District, concluding 30 years of teaching elementary levels at six locations in these states. Living for the first 22 years at ranger stations, Sharon came to enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and teaching all in small communities. When they moved to WA, they spent many weekends and extended periods of time fishing for salmon and halibut on the Pacific Ocean and the Inland Passage. Shell-fishing was also a favorite activity. At home, Sharon enjoyed watching the local wildlife, gardening, and tending to her flower beds. Sharon was a longtime member of Bethel Lutheran Church and was loved by all who came in contact with her.
A memorial to celebrate Sharon's life will be held this spring. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF) in search of the cure for her beloved granddaughter are appreciated.
Sharon is survived by her husband, Lynn Leppanen; sons, Jay Leppanen, Scot Leppanen and wife, Januaria; granddaughter, Kirsi; Sharon's mother, Violet; her brothers, Duane, Alan, and Kevin; and sister, Lori Ann.
Please sign her Guest Book at

Published in The Columbian on Jan. 13, 2013