Hans Otto Leistana


June 2, 1930 –  September 30, 2014


HansLeistinaOur dear Hans was born in Vienna, Austria 2 June 1930 to Emanuel and Irma Zuckerberg. He had an extraordinary memory of his early life in Vienna.   His memories included being taken by his father to the Ringstrasse for Hitler’s military parade, operatic soirees, days spent at a resort on the Simmering in Lower Austria, dining at the Cafe Deme, and sadly changing schools in 1938 due to the restrictions for Jewish children.   He was fortunate enough to escape Nazi Austria through the Kindertransport in March of 1939.   His entire family gathered at the Vienna Westbahnhof Train Station to say goodbye. It was to be their final farewell. He traveled to Harwich, England by train and boat. He then became a student at Kingham Hill School in the Cotswolds. One of his earliest report cards mentioned his independent but charming character.


Hans worked for the US Army Intelligence as a Reports Editor. Between 1945 and 1946 he was a bank messenger for Seligman Brothers, Merchant Bankers. From 1947 to 1952 he was an Articled Clerk for Chartered Accountants. He returned to Vienna in 1952 and spent three years there, meeting his governess who had survived WWII.


Hans then lived in Nova Scotia, Bermuda, Toronto and Vancouver, Canada where he worked as an internal auditor for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Hans retired in 2003 from Airborne Express as an Internal Auditor, he also served as Accountant for Stang Travel Service in Seattle.


Hans was devoted to the Y’s Men (YMCA) where he served as Regional Treasurer for the Pacific Northwest Region for 28 years. In 2001 he had completed 50 years of service and was named Volunteer of the year for the Metrocenter YMCA in 2006.


Survivors include a multitude of friends, who shared a mutual love of opera, symphony, Shakespearean theater, fine music, fine food, fine art, the Y’s Men, the Volkswalkers, and the Washington Athletic Club. One of his friends stated she admired “Hans’ resiliency and ability to laugh and stay happy through the trials and tribulations of an amazing life. I know he may not have seen it that way, but he was most certainly most extraordinary.” Oh, Hans, how we will miss you! You were so loved Farewell Sweet Prince.


Memorials may be directed to the YMCA in his memory.  Funeral services were provided by Barton Family Funeral Service of Seattle.

A no-host gathering in Han’s honor will be held at the British Pantry in Redmond Washington 98052.  It will be Friday, December 5th at 6 PM.


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