Jonathan Leinfelder

Jonathan D. Leinfelder spent his entire career working for Milwaukee Public Schools, working his way up from teacher to assistant principal with one goal in mind, his sister Mia Dougherty said.

“He liked to help people, and with all the children in the world, he felt that was his calling,” his sister said. “Kids were very important to him.”

Mr. Leinfelder had a special bond with the students he worked with, she added.

“He was great at talking to the kids and trying to make them better people,” his sister said. “He bonded with a lot of kids who came from troubled homes.”

Her brother didn’t have a degree in counseling, she said, but he was known for helping those he worked with.    

He was happy, she added, seeing the difference he was making in the lives of the children he dealt with and the world.

Mr. Leinfelder, who lived in Milwaukee, died of a brain aneurysm Thursday, March 29. He was 54.

Mr. Leinfelder was working out on the treadmill at the Rite-Hite YMCA in Brown Deer at the time, his sister said.

“There was no indication (before his death) that anything was wrong, that he had an aneurysm,” she said.

Mr. Leinfelder was born in Port Washington on Oct. 20, 1963, the son of David and Patricia Czisny Leinfelder.

He grew up in the family home on Jackson Street in Port and graduated from Port Washington High School in 1981.

He earned his bachelor and master’s degrees in education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

On June 14, 1986, he married Cindy McDaniel at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Thiensville.

The couple lived in Milwaukee.

Mr. Leinfelder wasn’t one to back away from a challenge, his sister said.

“I don’t think he ever wanted to take the easy way out of anything,” she said.

Mr. Leinfelder was a family man whose constant companion was his cockapoo Ollie.

He loved sports, his sister said. He was a baseball umpire and assistant basketball coach at his high school, and in his free time he cheered on the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers and

Marquette University basketball team.

He also enjoyed fishing and bowling.

“My brother didn’t sit still much,” his sister said. “His mind was always clicking a mile a minute.”

Mr. Leinfelder recently began preparing to retire and move back to Port Washington in the next year or two, his sister said.

“He was at peace since making that decision,” she said. “His job took so much out of his life.”

Mr. Leinfelder was a serious man, she said, “but he was also a fun loving, caring guy. He was very kind and loving. He would greet everyone with a handshake.”

Mr. Leinfelder is survived by his wife Cindy of Milwaukee; children Sara (Brandon) Gigot of Sheboygan, Andrew of Milwaukee and Emily of Milwaukee; and grandson Theodore Gigot.

He is further survived by his mother Patricia (Carl) Charles of Saukville, siblings Mia (Geno) Dougherty of Port Washington, Michael (Lisa) of Mequon, Kris (Michael) Markiewicz of Port Washington, Kevin (Shannon) Charles of Utah and Kari Graske of Madison; mother-in-law Arlene McDaniel of Thiensville and brother-in-law James (Sherri) McDaniel.

Mr. Leinfelder was preceded in death by his father David, father-in-law Everett McDaniel and grandparents Norman “Swede” and Betty Czisny.

A Mass of Christian burial was held Tuesday, April 3, at Lumen Christi Catholic Church in Mequon. Father Daniel Sanders officiated.

Memorials to Special Olympics or the Medical College of Wisconsin for neuroscience research are suggested.

Funeral arrangements were handled through Schramka Funeral Homes.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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