Gertrude Hartfield Kline, February 1, 1918 – August 2, 2022
Born in 1918 Gertie Kline, widow of Preston J. Kline, died peacefully at 104 years surrounded by her children Joan, Jeff and Eric and grandchildren Jules and Rick just a few days after the passing of her beloved sister, Marian Brown. Gertie was a trailblazer, attending UC Berkeley in 1936, followed by UCLA and USC. She envisioned taking over her dad, Max Hartfield’s, retail empire, but instead married Harvard educated lawyer, Preston Kline, and in 1941 settled in bucolic upper Benedict Canyon. Gertie loved life and traveled the world collecting art, creating special moments and filling her husband’s life with the unexpected. Until her 20’s, she rode horses across the San Fernando valley floor, in Griffith Park, and along the beach in Malibu. She ventured with her family to Mexico and was the first family member to fly. In the 1950s, she was a Den Mother and later Cub Master of the Warner Avenue Elementary School’s Cub Scouts.
In the early 1960’s, she offered free room and board to UCLA graduate students, many of whom said she made their later success possible, both by her generosity, what they learned at the dinner table and her insightful guidance. She was a docent at the Wright Gallery and a life-long volunteer at Ceders-Sinai Helping Hand Gift Shop. She had a garden filled with corn and vegetables, grew fruit and baked pies.
A forward thinker who invested in technology companies long before the internet, Gertie had a great eye and appreciation of the arts, culture, music and fashion. She was a life-long member of Wilshire Boulevard Temple and loved to tell the story of watching it being built in 1928/9. When asked the secret of her long life, she said, “laughter and dance.” She is survived by her sister Lulu Epstein, children Joan, Jeff & Eric, grandchildren Jules, Rick, Gemini & Max, and great grandchildren Hailey, Adara, Vicente, Lyric and Aria. As Preston would say, she was “quite a dame.”
Donations may be made in her honor to MAZON, Jewish Free Loan, or the charity of your choice.
Services Friday at 10:30am at Home of Peace Memorial Park