Leonard Frank Sauer

November 25, 1930 – January 1, 2021

Leonard Sauer, builder of Sauer’s Mountain trail near Leavenworth, passed away at his home on New Year’s Day 2021 at age 90.  Leonard built the trail across his private property with hand tools over the course of two summers in his retirement, recognizing that Sauer’s Mountain is accessible in the spring when the high-country trails remain frozen.  Since then, thousands of people have discovered the trail and the outdoors.  His family wishes to thank the many kind hikers from around the world who stopped to visit with Leonard at the trailhead during his aging years.  Leonard ensured that the site will remain with his family long after his passing.

Born at the outset of the Great Depression in 1930 in Leavenworth, Washington, the principles of work, outdoor adventure, and climbing onward are hallmarks of the heritage Leonard learned as a boy growing up in the nearby mountains, and which he passed on to his family and to others. Likely no person has ever known Leavenworth’s mountains better.  Leonard visited every mountain lake multiple times, planted the first fish in many of them, named three of them, and fed his family from venison and fish that he packed from the top of the mountains every year from ages 10 to 77. His name is repeated many times in the state hunting record books.  His trap sets from the 1940s can still be found in the wilderness. He built trails and fought forest fires as a young man. He chose a view of his namesake Leonard Lake to be engraved on his tombstone.

Leonard was a distance runner at Leavenworth High School and ran cross country for Washington State College where he earned a degree.  He taught industrial arts, and coached track and football in Richland, Washington schools, where in football he sported an 82-percent winning record and was proud to have worked with Richland’s finest young men.

Raising eight children, Leonard worked full-time teaching and coaching, then worked weekends and summers carrying mail, plus he worked his orchard with his children.  He established the Sauer’s Orchard fruit stand in Kennewick that his son continues to run today.  He spent the final years of his career carrying mail full-time.

Leonard was preceded in death by his parents Welcome Friend Sauer and Celia Miriam (Knowles) Sauer, by his beloved wife Jeanne (Riske), his brother Gary Sauer, and his stepson Dave Chambers.  He is survived by his sister Dolores Dahl of Des Moines, WA, his children Heidi Kinne of Centralia, Joe Sauer of Leavenworth, Welcome Sauer of Wenatchee, Steve Sauer of Kennewick, and Debbie Draker of Richland, along with stepchildren Nancy Seton of Friday Harbor, Donna Jantzer of Peshastin, Linda Meyers of Wenatchee, Gregg Chambers of Kennewick, and Robert Chambers of Dover, Delaware.  He is loved by nineteen grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.

Leonard will be interred in a small family service at Old Leavenworth Cemetery alongside multiple generations of Sauer ancestors.  A later tribute will be held at his trailhead. You are invited to view Leonard’s Online Tribute at www.HeritageMemorialChapel.com where you can also leave a memory and/ or condolence. Arrangements are in the care of Heritage Memorial Chapel, East Wenatchee, WA.


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