Harriet Gerstner Leland 1919-2018

H. Gerstner & Sons is saddened of the passing of Harriet Gerstner Leland who was the youngest daughter of our founder Harry Gerstner. Harriet passed away on the anniversary we were founded, October 5th and the same day of her beloved husband Harold Leland passed away 13 years ago. Harold was president of Gerstner & Sons from 1962-1976. His background in engineering helped to formulate cost and control systems that are still used in the running of the business. Under Harold's leadership, the company began to introduce new products that would help assure the future growth of the company. Harriet also worked in the office while her husband Harold was president of H. Gerstner & Sons. Also, as a little girl, she spent time at Gerstner & Sons as well. 

Dayton was Harriet’s home for 97 years. She moved to Niwot/Boulder, Colorado two-and-a-half years ago to be close to her daughter Jane Leland Langdon and son-in-law, Rev. Bradley E. Langdon. She loved to support the Dayton Historical Society and the Dayton Art Institute. When it came to friends, Harriet had a blessed life. Her neighbors, wherever she lived, became part of her "community." Her loyal friendships in her "sewing group" that began in 1950 and continues through today. Throughout her life, her kindness, generosity and boundless creativity spilled over onto others in a big way. She loved to smile, and as it was her way to broadcast Love wherever she went. She left a wake of LOVE and "thank-you notes" everywhere as she was a jewel of Dayton. 

Harriet earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan in 1941, where she was a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority. She returned to school at age 69, earned a Master of Fine Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy from Union Institute in Cincinnati, where she focused on portraiture. She also loved to decorate and earned an allied membership in 1995 to the American Society of Interior Designers.

Harriet will be missed by H. Gerstner & Sons as we lose a part of our great legacy. 


        Charlotte, Emma Gerstner, Harriet (2 1/2), Florence (5) in 1921                  Florence, Charlotte, and Harriet                                Harry, Florence, Charlotte, Emma, & Harriet 


                                      Earl & Florence Simmonds, Charlotte &  John A. Campbell, Harriet & Harold Leland                                           Charlotte, Harriet, and Florence 

                                                                                     Emma and Harry Gerstner (Sitting)