SARA “SALLY” LOUISE SCHUENEMAN-HESCH, age 89, of Janesville, died on Wednesday evening, February 9, 2022, at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.
Born on November 14, 1932 in Flint, Michigan to Lorenz and Lillian (Kantz) Schoenstedt. Sara grew up in Mankato, where she attended elementary school before her family moved to Janesville, where she would graduate from high school in 1950. On March 14, 1953, Sara was united in marriage to Gordon Schueneman. Together they had two daughters and shared 24 years of marriage before Gordon passed away on October 13, 1977. On February 15, 1980, Sara was married to James Hesch and they shared 28 years together until Jim passed away on April 25, 2008. Despite the loss of Gordon at such a young age, Sara was fortunate to share her life with two men she truly loved and who loved her.
Early on, Sara worked in the welfare office for Waseca County. Following the death of her husband Gordon, she became a real estate agent to run Schueneman Realty, a business that he had recently started in Janesville. She continued to have a very successful real estate career until retirement. Later in life, she worked at Curves for Women in Mankato as a workout coach and trainer, until the age of 80. She built many great friendships along the way.
Sara’s life revolved around music. At a young age, her biggest musical influence was her dad; he loved to sing and passed this love along to his beloved daughter. As a child, she dreamed of being in the opera. As she grew older, it became evident that her angelic voice was a gift—something that would touch so many lives. Sara was also active with the Waseca Chorale and the Janesville United Methodist Church choir, where she was a faithful member. Throughout her lifetime, she sang for hundreds of weddings, funerals, anniversaries, and other celebrations. She was blessed to be able to share her gifts with so many within her community.
Sara was beautiful, inside and out. She was loving and gracious, and was known to go the extra mile for all. She was a wonderful mother and she adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; they filled her heart with so much love and she treasured time spent with them.
Sara is survived by her beloved daughter, Mary “Tootie” Schueneman of Mankato; stepchildren: Jim (Janine) Hesch of Sauk Rapids, Janell (Willie Priem) Hesch of Waseca, John (Sheila) Hesch of Seattle, WA, Joel (Theresa) Hesch of Lynchburg, VA, and Jerome Hesch of Waseca; 19 grandchildren; numerous great grandchildren; sons-in-law: Randy Peterson of Janesville and William Trahms of Mankato; siblings: Mary (Howard) Heckes of Prior Lake, Carl Schoenstedt of Mankato, and John (Lynn) Schoenstedt of Mound; sisters-in-law: Barb Glass of Mankato and Bonnie Stangler of Waterville; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Gordon and James; daughter, Missy Peterson; grandchildren: Billy Hesch-Priem and Luke Smith; brother Rick Schoenstedt; sister-in-law, Rita Schoenstedt; and niece, Laura Orzabal.
A celebration of Sara’s life will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 12:00 PM at the Janesville United Methodist Church. Interment will follow at the Janesville Cemetery. Due to Covid and family health concerns, masks will be required at the service and no lunch will be served. For those unable to attend, a recording of the service will be available on the funeral home website the following day.