Leo Goldner was born in Toledo Hospital on July 3rd, 1923, son of Herman and Margret Fleichocher Goldner and brother to his beloved sister Josephine (Meyer) Teitlebaum (deceased). Leo died on Saturday February 1, 2020 in Aventura, Florida. For many years the Goldner's lived above their family dry goods store called the Chicago Bargain House.
He lived in a Hungarian immigrant neighborhood in East Toledo, and learned to speak fluent Hungarian. He was an avid Stamp collector and a YoYo champion.
He was the only Jewish Boy in his Elementary and H.S. He learned to defend himself against neighborhood bullies by learning Judo and quickly worked his way up to Black Belt 5th degree status.
He had release parochial time in elementary school but instead of taking 2 bus's to go to his synagogue, he agreed at the request of the Monsignor of St. Stephen's Church, to become an altar boy at St. Stephens Church, an interesting choice for a Jewish boy.
There are pictures of Leo hanging in Waite High School and in St. Stephen's Church where he donated the bronze statue of St. Stephen, which still stands there out front today on Genesee Street.
He Graduated from Waite High School, as a member of the National Honors Society.
After graduating from High School he attended the University of Toledo to study pre-law, was on the wrestling and tennis team and joined the Lamda Chi fraternity, and tennis. Upon the invasion of Pearl harbor he enlisted in the U.S. army. There, as a lowly private, he was eventually sent to officer's candidate school to become a Lieutenant. Eventually he was assigned to be shipped to Manila in the Philippines where he had many harrowing experiences.
In the Army, he served under General George C. Marshall as chief of staff and helped liberate the Philippines under General Douglas MacArthur where he was injured in hand to hand combat. He had no less than 12 medals and five decorations including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
He served as director of USO Camp Shows in the Western Pacific after being wounded in battle. He was an expert Magician and Hypnotist.
During the time he was an infantry officer, he used two three day passes to marry, the love of his life, Marian Rachel Baron, to whom he was married for 76 years. Marian always claimed that their secret to a long, happy marriage was easy: separate bathrooms!
After being discharged from the Army he worked at the family dry goods store, but really wanted to have a store of his own. In the end, he accepted a job offer from his brother-in-law, Jerry Baron at Baron Steel Company. There he flourished as a salesman, making an unheard of million dollars for the firm, his very first year. Later, he and his brother-in-law Sidney Baron, started Tyler Steel, in 1953. Two years later, Leo started Parker Steel Company, which today is the number one distributor of metric metals in the nation.
Leo and Marian began their married life in a house on Vermont Street in Toledo. In 1955 they built a home in Ottawa Hills. He included in the home a Theater room where he could perform magic tricks. The grandchildren remember the room included a free candy machine, a movie screening area, jumbo projection TV, popcorn machine and an ice cream soda fountain with seating for six.
He was past president of the Association of Steel distributors, founding member of Magician'Ring 68, Toledo, Ohio. He was the longest living member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (where he was awarded the Order of Merlin), where he joined on his 16th birthday.
He and his wife were founding members of the Toledo Chapter of Hillel at the University of Toledo. He did hundreds of Hypnosis demonstration benefiting Waite High School, and raised over $200,000 for scholarships.
For well over 34 years he was State of Israel Bond Chairman for NW Ohio and traveled to Israel over 20 times. He was on the National Board of Myasthenia Gravis Foundation, the Darlington House, (home for the aged) the Elks Club, the Kiwanis, a 32nd degree Mason, the Damascus Lodge, as well as a member of Temple B'nai Israel, Temple Shomer Emunim, Congregation Etz Chayim, and the American Israel Policy Conference.
He was also a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnotists, National Guild of Hypnotists Gold Baton Group at Toledo Symphony Orchestra,
President's Council of the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Ohio Governor's Club
He is listed in Who's Who in America, and is a member of the Jewish Community Center, where he taught Judo for many years. He was an avid boater and fisherman as well as being an expert boat Captain and sea and lake fisherman. Known for gourmet cooking, especially Hungarian Turkey.
Leo was President of Parker Steel Company, board member of Temple Shomer Emunim, Couples Club Co-chair, and Chairman of the board of the Footlighters' Club of South Florida which raises money for indigent entertainers and musicians. He and Marian had many joyous years at the family cottage, the Squeezum Inn, on Kelleys Island.
He and Marian spent many winters in their home in Florida Keys, before moving to the Vi in Aventura, FL for the last 16 years.
He had 4 Children, Paul (Linda Bender, Sandra Soifer), Harriet (aka Camryn Lee), Marcia Alter and Janet Killam (Michael); Grandchildren, Andrea DeMar (David), Mark Goldner, Sharon Tipping (Michael), Olivia Potash (Daniel), and Jordan Killam; Great grandchildren, Lauren, Noah and Rebecca DeMar, Talia, Emma and Abigail Tipping and Omri Potash.
Quoted from Audio recording from Feb.18, 2006 Talk with Marcia Alter:
"I love my children and grand children and great grand children. It doesn't always work out the way you hoped. I hope I taught them well and treated them well and that they love me. And they should do good for other people. It is so important to do good for people that can't do for themselves......
I believe that the good deeds I did in my life will live on after me. We should give of ourselves, not just money.
Advise to Grandchildren:
"Don't be mad at anybody because it doesn't do one any good. It only hurts you. Just think positively, do good deeds for others.
You can be proud that you are Jewish, even if others attempt to kill us.
You can be proud of all the things Jews have done in this world for other people That's part of your heritage for thousands of years. We've got doctors and scientists, computer experts, almost everything you are touching was developed in Israel. They are doing wonderful things for humanity, not just for Israel alone. Education is very very important, charity, is very very important."
Do you have any regrets?
"Not really, I really don't have any regrets. I've lived my life enjoying every minute. I've tried to enjoy every minute. I don't know when it's going to end, but I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me when I'm gone. I've enjoyed every minute and accomplished everything I ever wanted to do. As far as I'm concerned they can dance and celebrate a life well lived at my funeral. "
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. in the Robert H. Wick/Wisniewski Funeral Home 2426 North Renolds Rd. Toledo, OH. 43615. (419)535.5840. Interment will follow at Beth Shalom Cemetery, Oregon, Ohio.
Contributions can be sent to Waite High School scholarship fund, the Footlighter's, Florida Key Deer, Buy Israel Bonds or a charity of the donors choice.
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