Age 91, of Chelsea, MI, formerly of Wauzeka, WI; Plymouth, MI; and Tucson, AZ, died Thursday, March 30, 2023. She was born on September 10, 1931, in Boscobel, Wisconsin, the daughter of Ora and Harriet Leila (Mercer) Oswald.

From her childhood on a cattle farm in Wauzeka to her retirement years in Chelsea, Leila met life with a quiet grace and intelligence. Leila earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and her master's in library science from the University of Michigan. For years, Leila stayed home with her children and volunteered. Later, she worked as a high school teacher, a high school librarian, and later in a public library. After retiring, she moved to Chelsea and volunteered in the libraries at North Creek Elementary School, the Chelsea Center for the Arts, and the Chelsea District Library. She was proud to have served on the Chelsea District Library Building Committee.

Most importantly, Leila was a devoted grandmother. She attended all performances and athletic events. Although a perfectionist herself, she ignored her grandchildren's mistakes. They called her Grandma Lee, and often, she was the one they called. She dropped off snacks, meals, and forgotten items. She knew their friends and what was important to her grandchildren. They had many conversations and laughs over the years. She stayed current on what they were doing and was extremely proud of each of them.

All of Leila’s family and friends were important to her. She thought about them and talked about them often. She also enjoyed chatting with the regulars at the Chelsea Bakery.

Leila loved plants and animals, especially giraffes and birds, and had a unique teddy bear collection. She was a talented artist, drawing beautiful, realistic plants and birds. She enjoyed family genealogy research and was working to document her relationship to General Hugh Mercer. Her family and friends will miss her support, unique wit, generous and loyal nature, and her ideas and strong opinions.

Leila is survived by daughters, Anne (John) Dunlap, Krys Draugelis Patton, and Toni (Rich) Kinsey; sisters, Gweneth Weigel, and Bunny (Jerry) Mueller; grandchildren, Richard (Ashlee) Kinsey and Peter (Tracy) Kinsey, Amanda (Myles) Austin and Daniel Patton; two great-grandchildren, Marvin and Mack Kinsey; nephews, Dennis (Delores) Stantorf,  Kevin (Pamela) Stantorf, Wade (Shelley) Mueller, and Wayland (Jennifer) Mueller; nieces, Candace (William) Ferrall, Vicki (Robert) Lewis, Stephanie Weigel; and many great-nephews and nieces. She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Orvis Oswald; a sister, Vergene (Ivan) Stantorf; and a niece, Megan Weigel.

Per Leila’s wishes, family will have a private family service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Chelsea District Library, 221 S. Main St., Chelsea, MI 48118, or to the Villa Louis Carriage Classic, P.O. Box 117, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821. Arrangements were entrusted to Cole Funeral Chapel in Chelsea.

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#1 Shawn Personke 2023-04-07 07:49
Hi Krys and Toni - I wanted to send our condolences. I think of her often when I remember all the work so many of us did to bring the new library to fruition, as well as the early days following the formation of the district library. Take care,

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