Esther Landa
1912 - 2014
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1912 ~ 2014
Esther Rosenblatt Landa died December 28th in Rancho Mirage, California, three days after her 102nd birthday. In true Esther fashion, she was ever witty and sharp as a tack until the end.
Esther was born December 25th, 1912 at the Salt Lake City home of her parents', Simon and Sylvia Rosenblatt. Raised in a family with a strong belief in public education, she attended Uintah, Roosevelt Junior High and graduated from East High School. Her three children followed in her footsteps and graduated from East as well. At 16, Esther ventured away from home and attended Mills College in Oakland, California and later she went on to receive Honorary Degrees from the University of Utah and Westminster College.
After college she held many different jobs, in many different arenas all across the country. She lived and worked in New York and Washington, D.C., but eventually came back to Utah. Among her most admirable qualities was her unparalleled involvement in women and children's issues. Even in her late 80s, she formed a PAC to support Democratic women candidates in Utah, "Esther's List." She truly could raise awareness and interest for good causes like no other woman.
Along with her many accomplishments, she was a master of logistics. It was often quipped that she could find a way for anyone in the family, at any time, or anywhere to help another family member, no matter how distant, catch a ride back to college or home. She loved being with all of her children's friends. She was at her happiest when sitting around the kitchen table, hearing the latest "gossip", but always the diplomat, she was very careful never to spread any herself. Her awards, accolades, and titles are too numerous to list, and although she is probably best known publicly as a great feminist, inspiring Jewish leader, and devoted mentor, she most enjoyed being Grandma, Nanny and Great Grandma, spending her mornings with a hot cup of tea and her crossword puzzle. As she approached the century mark, her fulsome emails to friends, family, and newspaper editors were part of her day, and highlights of theirs.
During World War II, Esther met Airman Jerry Landa in Washington, D.C. while she worked at the Office of War Information. They married in 1943. Mr. Landa died from complications of Parkinson's in 1971, but before that, in 1946, together they were founding members of the Mount Sinai Poker Club, a group of lifelong friends who met every other Saturday night for dinner and cards. Both were avid golfers and tennis players, and Esther passionately enjoyed all sports (at least all of those that are competitive), watching college football and college and pro basketball until her last days. Remarkably, even as a Centenarian, she participated in the family "NCAA March Madness" bracket pool, and much to the chagrin of her grandchildren, won quite often.
Esther's family would like to thank her dedicated and loving caregivers, Dorothy Mills, Florabelle Lubanga, Mia Kruger, Susan Antero and Piedade Odell.
She is survived by daughter Terry (Raymond) Vismantas; sister, Barbara Burnett; daughter-in-law Theresa (Terry); grandsons, David Landa, Christopher Landa, Jason Vismantas, Simon Vismantas; granddaughter, Whitney Landa Maiaroto (Thomas); great-grandson, Asher and an extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews, both grand and great.
Esther was preceded in death by daughter, Carol Landa; son, Howard Landa; and brother Bernard Rosenblatt.
A private graveside service will be held Friday. A celebration of her life, here in Salt Lake City, will be this spring.
Donations would be welcomed to the National Council of Jewish Women, Utah Section, or the Jerome Joseph Landa Lectureship in the Department of Neurology at the University of Utah.


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Published in The Salt Lake Tribune on Jan. 1, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
January 14, 2015
On behalf of the University of Utah College of Social Work faculty, staff, and students, I offer our sympathies to the family for the loss of your beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

Esther served for many years on the College's Community Advisory Board where she was always appreciated for her energy and good humor, as well as her clarity of purpose. We were better off for her service, as were so many others in our community and beyond.

Kind regards,
Interim Dean Hank Liese
University of Utah College of Social Work
January 4, 2015
Esther was a trailblazer in life championing women's and children's rights with focus and perseverance. Her dedication to her Jewish faith, intellect, wit, and philanthropic commitment were all extraordinary. We were very privileged to engage with Esther at many family gatherings. She was a woman with spunk and determination that will be sorely missed. Her laughter and the twinkle in her eyes will always be remembered. We send our condolences to her beautiful family.
Kent & Nedra Chard
January 2, 2015
Ms. Landa helped pave the way for professional women in Utah. I'm one of the beneficiaries of her hard work. My thanks to her and condolences to her family. - Lynne Ward
January 2, 2015
Esther was always an inspiration, both for her joy in life and for her accomplishments.
Melanie Lahman
January 2, 2015
We were fortunate to know Esther and to be able to spend time with her. What a great woman! Our sincerest condolences to her family.
Elaine and Joel Miller
January 2, 2015
Because my mother was employed for many years by the Rosenblatt family, I was privileged to meet Esther when I was a young woman. Talk about an indelible impression! She was amazing. Everything Esther did was done with enthusiasm and precision. Though she lived a long and purposeful life, her legacy will linger even longer in the hearts of her family, many friends and even those, like me, whose lives were touched briefly by this lovely, joyful woman. I extend heartfelt wishes for comfort and blessings to Esther's family and friends.
Kathy Forgie
January 1, 2015
In the days when Utah had few women who spoke out on feminist issues, Esther Landa was not only top of the heap here, but nationally. She was the equal of Bella Abzug, Maya Angelou, RBG and the others showing the way--brilliant, colorful, down-to-earth, witty. How blessed we were to walk by her light. Thank you, Esther. Rest in Peace.
Elouise Bell
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