Friendship. Integrity. Hard Work.
Edward Tracy Leutheuser, economist and entrepreneur who introduced hand showers to the U.S. has died; he was 88. Ed's love of life, people, and his welcoming nature are traits that are missed by all who had the pleasure to know him.
Edward passed away March 4th with family by his side. He was the seventh of eight children of Andrew and Florence (Smith) Leutheuser of Somerset, Michigan. The close family and community gave him the gift of responsibility and appreciation for each friendship.
Edward studied economics and earned his MBA at the University of Michigan prior to serving in the United States Army in Germany. While living in Chicago and later in Los Angeles, his first career as an economist with Real Estate Research Corporation gave Edward the opportunity to do economic viability studies for development in Alaska & Hawaii. It was a time of great adventure as the territories transitioned to states. He did numerous studies of California's coastal areas before the extensive growth of the state and also served on the Los Angeles Mayor's Development Board.
During his military duty in Germany, Edward's father Andrew visited him in the homeland he left 50 years earlier as a 16 year old. Andrew was intrigued by the hand showers used in Europe and imagined a time when there would be one in every home. Ed with his brothers and sisters took his father's vision, and Alsons Corporation became known as the first company to introduce personal showers to the home, hospital, hotel, and recreation industries in the U.S. He served as President, and loved the people and business which was based in Hillsdale, Michigan. In 1987 Alsons was sold to Masco Corporation and the products are now sold under the Delta brand.
Edward was married to his childhood sweetheart Sue Hawkins for 50 years before she passed in 2004. They raised their family in Covina, California. Their children Lisa Graham (and Chris), Peter and Todd Leutheuser (and Joan); two grandsons and four great granddaughters survive them. He had homes in Incline Village, Nevada and Long Beach, California.
Edward is predeceased by his brothers Richard, Paul, Frank, and Harold Leutheuser and sisters Dorothea Thompson and Helen Walton. He is survived by sister Louise Meckley. He is also survived by sisters-in-law Eleanor and Nancy Leutheuser, and companion Ivernia Kneller.
Edward always saw the beautiful and the good in each situation. He was very appreciative of the wonderful freedoms and unlimited opportunities our country affords.
A memorial contribution may be directed in Edward's name to Hillsdale College, 33 E. College St., Hillsdale, Michigan 49242 or to the Somerset Congregational Church in Somerset, Michigan 49281.
Brown-Van Hemert funeral Home of Addison, Michigan is assisting the family with arrangements.
Published in Gazette Newspapers from May 14 to May 21, 2020.