H. Gerstner & Sons Announces the Passing of Jack Campbell

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Jack Campbell

A Tradition of Excellence which celebrates American craftsmanship by the H. Gerstner & Sons company in Dayton Ohio since 1906, has lost their owner, Jack Campbell. Grandson of company founder, Harry Gerstner.  John H. “Jack” Campbell, age 74, of Oakwood, passed away Friday Sept 2, 2016 at Catawba Island Club, Port Clinton, Ohio. Jack was at the helm of Gerstner & Sons, since 1976.  During his tenure, Jack oversaw the transition of Gerstner chests. Originally designed and used by Machinists & Mechanics, Jack expanded the Gerstner brand to a wider audience by designing for a variety of uses. Gerstner now makes everything from Jewelry Chests to Gun Cases, Knife Chests to Briefcases and so much more. Jack had an eye for design and a passion for creating products to create “A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place”.

Jack Campbell

For four generations Gerstner Tool Chests have enjoyed a reputation for unmatched excellence and craftsmanship. They are recognized simply as “the finest tool chests built in America.” In terms of quality, performance, materials, and workmanship, a Gerstner is in a class by itself. No other tool chest in the world has the reputation of a Gerstner.

With deep sadness, H. Gerstner & Sons announced the passing of Jack Campbell on Friday evening, September 2nd, 2016. Jack was in a hotly contested game of Pickleball (a racket sport played on a smaller tennis court), which he truly loved and played 2-3 times per week, when he had a heart attack and could not be resuscitated.

Jack Campbell

Gerstner & Sons commented, “We, along with all of our wonderful customers, suppliers and friends have lost a true Leader, Mentor and Friend.”

Services will be held at 4 PM on Saturday, September 10th at Routsong Funeral Home in Kettering, Ohio.

The Campbell Family stated, “Just as when H. Gerstner & Sons lost our founder, Harry Gerstner, we are saddened by the loss of Jack, but we, as a company, will move forward in his memory, with equal Passion, Creativity and in the Tradition of Excellence that both Harry & Jack demonstrated and instilled in the entire Gerstner organization and its ongoing legacy.”

Respectfully yours,
The Campbell Family

About Jack

Jack Campbell

Campbell, John H. “Jack”, age 74, of Oakwood, passed away Friday Sept 2, 2016 at Catawba Island Club, Port Clinton, Ohio.

He is preceded in death by his parents, John A. Campbell and Charlotte (Gerstner) Campbell. Born in Dayton, Ohio he was nearly a lifelong resident of Oakwood.

He was a graduate of Oakwood High School, class of 1960. Upon graduation from Wilmington College with his BS Degree, Jack joined the Air Force as an Officer. After his honorable discharge from the military, Jack and his family moved around to several places before returning to Oakwood. Jack returned to Oakwood to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps at H. Gerstner & Sons located on the shore of the Great Miami River in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Jack purchased the company in 1976 from another lifelong member of the Dayton community, his uncle, Harold Leland who married Harriet Gerstner (youngest daughter of Harry Gerstner – founder of H. Gerstner & Sons). He has served as President and CEO of the company since 1976. Jack was very active in the community throughout his life including the following – an Oakwood Soccer Coach, Junior Achievement Leader, Toastmasters, Homestead Federal Savings and Loan Board Member, Downtown Dayton Rotary Club – Former Member, Four Seasons Yacht Club Member, Dayton Art Institute Member, Ta-Wa-Si Club Member and Past President, Dinner Group on Tuesday evenings at The Oakwood Club for over 30 years, Dunbar Society Member at Dayton History, Dayton Sail & Power Squadron Executive Officer, Dayton Country Club (DCC) Member, Catawba Island Club (CIC) Member and ‘”B” Dock Captain.

Jack was a master woodworking craftsman and designer. He was also gifted with songwriting and musical instruments, especially the guitar. Throughout his life, Jack was an avid softball player, tennis player, pickleball player, snow and water skier, soccer player, dirt bike rider, hiking “14ers” in Colorado and golfer. But his true lifelong passions (after his wife, Nancy) were travelling, boating and completing The Great Loop plus extensive boating on both the Ohio River and Great Lakes – together, Jack & Nancy boating several thousands of miles.

Jack is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Nancy (Johannes) Campbell, who was also from the Oakwood class of 1960. Jack leaves behind his wife Nancy, children Kim (Campbell) Brown (Culver class of 1987) and her husband Maurice Brown, Scott Campbell (Oakwood class of 1989) and his wife Vicki (Lee) Campbell (Oakwood class of 1989) plus Grandchildren Ian Campbell (Oakwood class of 2016) and Brenna Campbell (Oakwood class of 2019).

Survived by his siblings; brother, James T. Campbell (wife, Thurza) of Sherborn, MA, and brother, W. Geoff Campbell (wife, Sherrie) of Colorado Springs, CO, sister, Jane Campbell of Dayton, OH. plus, brother-in-law Harry J. Johannes of Dayton, OH.

Beloved by dozens of Nieces, Nephews, Cousins and their extended families.

Memorial Service will be held 4:00 pm at Routsong Funeral Home, 2100 East Stroop Road, on Saturday, September 10th, 2016. The family will receive friends following the memorial service at the Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, friends may make a memorial contribution to their favorite charity or for a Memorial Flag Pole for Jack at Gerstner & Sons.

Note to the Editor – Dad, I know you are reading this with your “red pen” in hand – we did the best we could with writing this and hopefully we don’t have many grammar or spelling errors. We will miss your edits and re-writes for each message and document we ran past you, but we will mostly miss you, your competitive nature, guidance, and quick wit – no one could quite tell jokes and stories like you!    

Love, Kim & Scott
Kim Campbell Brown
Gerstner & Sons
Exclusive Authorized Manufacturer’s Rep

Direct Phone – 513-509-6501
Email: gerstnersales@live.com 

All of us at Woodcraft express our sincere condolences and deepest respect to the family and friends of Jack Campbell.



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