Jason Sanftleben

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ARENA–Jason J. Sanftleben, 48, of Arena, passed away on July 23, 2022, after heart surgery complications at St. Mary’s and UW hospitals. He was surrounded by his family.

Jason was born to Jim and Debbie Sanftleben and grew up in the countryside of Cross Plains. He graduated from Middleton High School in 1992 then started a 30-year career in the elevator trade, first with Northwestern and ending with Schindler, recently taking a job with UW-Madison in elevator service and repair.

Jason loved spending time with his wife, Dana, and their children, Sofia and Jesse. He enjoyed cheering at Sofia’s gymnastics meets and Jesse’s soccer games. He also loved taking family vacations to travel the country. Jason always had a project in the works and had a real talent in building and fixing things. Dana always had a home project that Jason and her brothers, John and Patrick, would tackle. Many parties were hosted at the Sanftleben home around a roaring bon fire. Humor was integral to all of his relationships and he could aptly nickname anyone. 

Hunting, fishing, hiking and riding ATVs at his parents’ place was a passion. He made ice fishing and trips to South Dakota fun. Jason enjoyed being around the guys at Deer Camp and the annual “Deer Hunt Meeting.” Jason was blessed with a large extended family and loved having any reason to get together for a good time with his mom’s side of the family. He also loved going up north to spend time with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. His uncles were a great “influence” on Jason, he loved them.

Jason had a lot of close friends, but none closer than his best friend and son, Jesse, with his dad, Jim, running a close second. Sofia was his pride and joy. Jason and Dana raised two terrific kids and his family is very proud of them. Jason had a close relationship with his mom and sister, sharing countless hours of laughter and love.

Jason described himself as a gym class hero and continued to play old timers softball at Springfield Corners for many years using his cat-like reflexes in the outfield. He enjoyed motorcycling the back roads on his GS1150E with his friends, Justin, Dave and Aaron. He would throw Brett Favre passes to his son in the yard nightly. 

Jason is survived by his wife, Dana; children, Sofia and Jesse; parents, Jim and Deb Sanftleben; sister, Jamie (Darin) Key; sisters-in-law, Nona (Dennis) Harbert, Jennifer (Mark) Knuth and Mary (Philippe) Persaud; brothers-in-law, Dan (Robin) Akkerman, John (Mary) Akkerman and Patrick (Kelly) Akkerman; grandmother, Ruth Sanftleben; nephew, Payton Key; and many beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by Dana’s parents, John and Patricia Akkerman; maternal grandparents, Ronald and Joan Rundle; paternal grandfather, Norman Sanftleben; and two aunts, Sally Sanftleben and Linda VanDenBergh.

Thank you, Jason, for being our son, brother, husband, father and friend.

So long for now, Jason. Love, Mom, Dad, and Jamie, Dana, Sofia and Jesse.

A funeral service was held at Gunderson Cross Plains Funeral and Cremation Care, 2421 Church St., Cross Plains, at 4 p.m. on July 29, 2022. Visitation was held at the funeral home from 2 p.m. until the time of the service on Friday. A celebration of Jason’s life immediately followed at Springfield Inn, 6136 CTH P, Dane. 

Jason’s burial will be at Middleton Junction Cemetery. He will be forever in the company of Aunt Sally on one side and Grandpa Norman on the other. Online condolences may be made at gundersonfh.com.

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