Safe Home Gusti, Sean Boland

Safe Home
Harriet R. “Gusti” Krauss
By Jennifer Roach and Serge Krauss

Picture of Gusti

Harriet R. Krauss, known as folksinger Gusti to friends and fans, died tragically in a fall at her home on March 31, 2022. She was 83, and looking forward to singing her first post-cancer and COVID solo concert in May. She was “the Grande dame of folk music in Cleveland.”

Born in New York City in 1938, she grew up in Oberlin, Ohio and Ann Arbor, Michigan, a protégé of her father, famed oratorio-tenor and Professor of Voice, Harold Haugh. She graduated from Ann Arbor high school in 1956 and attended Hiram college.

Upon moving to Cleveland Heights with her first husband, John Donald Hervey, she discovered the burgeoning folk music scene at Faragher’s, where she joined the New Wine Singers, performing in Chicago to SRO houses for over a year and acquiring her own following.

Returning to Cleveland to raise her family, she established her solo career, appearing regularly at the fabled La Cave, where the popular folk duo Gusti and Sean was also conceived. Gusti co-founded the Kent State Folk Festival and hosted the first of forty-five such annual events. 

Her professional life included musical theater, the highlight of which was co-starring with David O. Frazier in Joseph Garry’s production of the two-person play, “Conversations with an Irish Rascal,” that ran ninety performances at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, was a hit at Scotland’s Edinburgh International Festival, and was performed Off-Broadway. With the blockbuster, “Jacques Brel…,” it is credited with saving Playhouse Square by attracting needed investors for its restoration. Gusti also appeared in The Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival’s “In a Fine Frenzy,” which was written around her talents. 

In 1980, she and devoted companion Serge Krauss, were married by her father in the yard of her parents’ Ann Arbor home, surrounded by generations of family from both sides. The couple enjoyed many activities together, including concerts, quiet times, and their annual trips to Maine.

Their occasional appearances together as a duo were highlighted by two full summers of daily performances in the San Juan Rockies near Ouray, Colorado. She recently overcame a painful, mis-diagnosed cancer. She was looked to by others as an incredibly strong woman and source of wise counsel.

Harriet is survived by her husband of forty-one years, Serge; sister Helen Bradley of Grand Rapids, Michigan; daughters Helen and Donna Hervey (Anthony Sanabria); sons, William and Michael Hervey; five grandchildren, and six great-grand-children. A musical and commemorative “Celebration of Life” is planned for July 13, 2022, at the West Side Irish American Club in Olmsted. Twp.

February 22, 1967 – May 13, 2022

SEAN ANTHONY BOLAND, II age 55; dearly beloved husband of Libby (nee Hirsch); loving father of Sean Anthony III “Trey” and Conor; son of the late Bridget (nee Ginty) and Sean Anthony Boland, Sr.; dear brother of Theresa O’Brien (Mel) and Christopher; son in law of Ann (nee Iffarth) and Thomas Hirsch; brother in law of Christine Wilton (Tom), Rebecca Finotti (Rick), Tommy Hirsch (Margie), Rachel Murphy (Pat), Sarah Royer (Chris) and Eileen Hirsch; much loved nephew, uncle, cousin and dear friend of many.

Passed away unexpectedly May 13, 2022. In lieu of flowers, take your best friend to breakfast, appreciate your family, kiss your loved one goodnight, be proud of your children and thankful for the blessings of each new day.

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