Leon “Lable” Handler, 97, passed away on June 29, 2020.
If you are reading this and you knew Lable, you know that he knew everyone and everyone knew him. Whenever he went out, he would make a new friend. Often when we went out to dinner, he would end up at someone else’s table, schmoozing the night away. Lable hit the jackpot with his first wife, Natalie, who preceded him in death in 1990. She took great care of him and their three sons. She inspired him to travel to places around the world that he never would have thought of, and he loved every minute.
We can never forget the “boys” trips he took with us to Niagara Falls, Madison, Wisc., Boston, Bar Harbor, Maine, Montreal, Quebec, and Quebec City, Quebec, even when he was in his 90’s. Or his younger days when he came home from a trip to Florida to tell us they filmed “Goldfinger” at his hotel, and we should look for him in the pool scene.
Leon was an all-star third baseman in high school and an excellent basketball player too. He would take us to watch him play in the Sunday morning league at Wolfe Park and to AK Softball at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus. He never obtained the same quality in his golf game, but he continued to play into his 90’s because he liked to hang with the guys.
During his 35 years living in Boca Raton, Fla., he became a volunteer at the Boca Raton Hospital. He once helped take care of Jerry Seinfeld’s mother.
Leon was an astute businessman and was founding partner of Handler and Sons Compressed Steel Corporation. He was a lifetime supporter of Congregation Tifereth Israel, JewishColumbus, the Columbus JCC, Torah Academy and Israel Bonds. He had great respect for Rabbi Nathan Zelizer, Rabbi Harold Berman and Rabbi David Steinhardt (Boca Raton).
We would like to thank all of the wonderful people at Bickford of Bexley and the nurses from Heartland Hospice for their great care over the past two years: Frances, Cierra, Hannah, Marie, Elena, Ivie, Marieme, SaraJane, Lisa, Natalie, Amie, Shaneada and Naomi.
Preceded in death by his wife, Natalie Handler; parents, Simon and Rosa Handler; sisters, Dorothy Zelizer and Florence Zelizer. He is survived by his sons, Geoffrey (Judy) Handler, Stephen (Carol) Handler and Rabbi Howard (Germán Calle) Handler; brother, Martin (Madelene) Handler; grandchildren, Andrew (Kimberly) Handler, William (Nicole) Handler, Allison (Matthew) Speiser, Jeremy (Marion) Handler, Julie (Daniel) Winick and Malachi (Sara) Handler; and 12 great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Private graveside services were held July 2 at New Tifereth Israel Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, to honor Leon’s memory, make a new friend next time you are out on the town, or make a donation to your favorite charity.
Online guestbook at epsteinmemorial.com.