Leonard W. Scarr

by | May 4, 2012 | Obituaries

Madison, Wis.—Leonard William Scarr died on April 26, 2012 at the age of 82.
He was born on Jan. 20, 1930 to Jacob and Pearl (Greenstein) Scarr in Newark, N.J. He was a first-generation American, his parents having come from Russia.
Leonard grew up in Hillside, N. J. and graduated first in his high school class. He attended Rutgers University and the University of Minnesota School of Veterinary Medicine. Immediately after graduating from veterinary school, he worked for the state of Minnesota inspecting cattle for brucellosis.
On Nov. 22, 1956, Leonard married Paula Abramson (of Eau Claire, Wis.), a psychiatric nursing instructor in Rochester, Minn. They moved to Portsmouth, Va. where Leonard had a solo small animal veterinary practice for more than 40 years. He had a particular gift for diagnosis and was innovative in his approach to complex cases. His success was due, in part, to Henry Hamilton, a long-time, dedicated, and extremely accomplished employee who became a lifelong friend and has been like a member of the family.
Leonard was active in the community as president of Temple Sinai, president of the Astronomical Society of Tidewater, and a trumpet player in the Tidewater Community Band. He also volunteered for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and helped start a girls’ softball league.
He was an avid amateur astronomer and, with the help of Henry Hamilton, designed and built a small observatory for his large telescope. He took photographs of the night sky and kept meticulous logs of his observations for over 30 years. Leonard loved plants and spent a great deal of his time after retirement gardening and working on his hundreds of plants.
Leonard and Paula moved to Madison, Wis. in 2010 and lived an active life at Capitol Lakes Retirement Community. He also enjoyed socializing and playing poker and bridge. After being diagnosed with cancer, Leonard lived life to the fullest and was a role model for living with a terminal illness.
Leonard had a wonderfully expressive face and a twinkle in his eye. He was very funny and had a great sense of humor, with an amazing ability to laugh at himself.
Leonard is survived by his wife, Paula of Madison, Wis.; daughter Amy (Judy Howard) of Madison, Wis.; three sons, Danny of McKinleyville, Cal.; Tzvi/ Adam (Cindy) of Jerusalem, Israel; and Mark of Pueblo, Col.; six grandsons, Itzik, Binyomin, Yaakov, Yonti, Chaim, and Moishy of Jerusalem, Israel; brother David (Gert) of Barboursville, W. Va.; sister Bernice Kessler of Westfield, N.J.; sister Goldie (Jean) Blankoff of Brussels, Belgium; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jacob and Pearl Scarr; father- and motherin- law, Morris (“Pete”) and Celia Abramson; brother-in-law Harold Abramson; nephew Bruce Abramson; brother-in-law Albert Kessler; and nephew Martin Kessler.
A graveside service was held at Beit Olamim Cemetery at Sunset Memory Gardens in Madison with Rabbi Joshua Ben-Gideon officiating. Memorials may be made to the Capitol Lakes Foundation, 333 W. Main St., Madison, WI 53703; the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Attn: Katie Arendt, 600 Highland Ave., K4/658, Madison, WI 53792-6164; or Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Pkwy., Madison, WI 53711.
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