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Kenneth W. Leister, Founder of Leisters Furniture Passes

Furniture World Magazine


Kenneth W. Leister, founder and CEO of Leisters Furniture died on Friday, December 26, 2008, after being surrounded by his family during the Christmas Holiday. The last of his silver dollars was passed out to his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was the loving husband of Ruth A.Humbert Leister, his wife of 68 years. Born Feb.14, 1921, in Hanover, PA, he was the son of the late Edgar and Helen Rebert Leister. Ken was the founder and CEO of Leisters Furniture until his retirement. His business, which he started in his basement, was his joy and his hobby. Ken loved Hanover, and he served it well. He was a Charter Member of the Hanover YMCA, a past president of its Board of Directors, was on the Board of Trustees, and a member of the National YMCA Book of Honor. In 1980 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the YMCA., and in 2007 he was awarded for his Outstanding Service to the Hanover Area YMCA. Ken was a past president of the Hanover Jaycees and served as the State Vice President. He also served his community as president of the Hanover Chamber of Commerce, District Chairman of the Boy Scouts’ Conewago District, spent many years as a member of the Hanover School Board, several of them as president, and was a member for 44 years of the Patmos Masonic Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons #348. His faith was important to him. Ken served his church in his youth as a piano player. He was a Sunday School teacher, served on the Consistory, and supervised Youth Fellowship. He was a member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church. Ken graduated from Eichelberger High School and was an active and proud member of the Class of ‘39. He attended the yearly reunions, including the 69th, held this past October. In addition to his wife, Ruth, he is survived by his daughters, Rebecca Albrecht and her husband, David, Sally Howe and her husband, John and one son, Thomas Leister and his wife, Vicki, all of Hanover; eight grandchildren, Debra Littleson, David and Joshua Forsythe, Lisa Mauss, Jessie Brairton, Katie Heird, and Megan and Matthew Leister; five great-grandchildren, Amy and Jacqueline Littleson, Clayton and Brooks Forsythe, and Alexis Brairton, and three brothers, Roger Leister, Rev. Dr. Elwood Leister and his wife Shirley, and Dr. Glenn Leister and his wife, Nancy. A daughter, Jacqueline, and a grandson, Michael Forsythe, preceded him in death. “A turtle doesn’t get anywhere until it sticks its neck out.”