Anne Louise Schmitz Leonhardt passed away peacefully at the age of 92 on April 26 in Lenox, surrounded by her loving family.
Anne was born on November 15, 1924, in Brooklyn, New York, to Rita and Ray Schmitz. She was a widely acclaimed, charming and cultured beauty. Anne grew up with one younger sister and she spent much of her early years in Douglaston, New York. She graduated from Manhasset High School in 1942 and continued on to Mary Mount College. She loved spending time outdoors sailing, sunbathing and swimming at Jones Beach with her friends. Her gentle, almost shy nature belied her politely competitive spirit, whether playing tennis, bowling or trap shooting. Anne was the recipient in 1972 for the Golden Shell Award, given to her at the Atlantic Indians Gun Club. She also was an avid bridge player, deftly winning tournaments with a twinkle and a smile.
In 1955 she married Frederick Haakon Leonhardt and they raised their family in Stamford, Connecticut. Anne was the proud mother of Robert Koerner, Frederick Leonhardt II, Melissa Leonhardt and Barbara Leonhardt. Their summers were spent in the beautiful Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts, on Yokum Pond in Becket. Anne was incredibly passionate and proud of her family and happiest when spending time with her granddaughters and family friends. Long after she was physically unable to enjoy lake activities, Anne would watch her family on Yokum Pond from her perch on the porch and coo with delight at the sight of them sailing, skiing, swimming and laughing.
Anne was a lifelong believer in the empowerment of women and children, a belief that guided her throughout her life and was evidenced though her countless acts of generosity. In 1998 Anne founded the “Fund for Women and Girls” at Fairfield County Community Foundation where she was honored this past April at their annual fundraising event. Anne often insisted on doing things quietly, and the communities in which she lived–including New York City; Douglaston; Vero Beach, Florida; Stamford and New Fairfield, Connecticut; and Becket–often thrived because of her anonymous generosity.
One of Anne’s favorite collections was comprised of angels. Now, she has joined them.
Anne Leonhardt is survived by her sister Barbara Travis of Monroe, Connecticut; sons Robert C. Koerner of Tucson, Arizona, Frederick H. Leonhardt of Albuquerque, New Mexico; her daughters Melissa Leonhardt of Becket, Barbara Leonhardt of Stockbridge; and her granddaughters Mariah Baca of Becket and Angelica Baca of Cheshire, Connecticut; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at the Kensico Cemetery, 273 Lakeview Ave., Valhalla, New York, on Wednesday, June 7, at 11 a.m. The family requests memorial donations in Anne’s memory to the Becket Athenaeum in care of Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main St., Lee, MA 01238.
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