Emily Engelhardt

Emily Engelhardt

Emily Engelhardt, a life-long resident of Decatur, Illinois, died at the age of 97 from the after-effects of COVID-19 at St. Luke’s Surrey Place in St. Louis.

Mrs. Engelhardt was the oldest member of Temple B’nai Abraham, having been a part of that historic congregation for 92-years. She lived her faith, protected her family, and devoted time and energy to many community causes.

She was the youngest child of Louis and Eva Greenberg, who founded Greenberg’s Outlet Shoe Center in Decatur. 

A 1941 graduate of Decatur High School and a gifted violinist, Emily intended to pursue a career in the arts at Millikin University where she was awarded a scholarship at the School of Music.  

World War II interrupted when both of her older brothers, Bill and Max Greenberg, were called up to serve in the U.S. Army. Emily put college aside and returned to the family business to help her father keep the doors open while her brothers were deployed. But her love of music and the performing arts never diminished.

In 1957, Emily married Dr. Stanley Engelhardt of New York, who had recently established his optometric practice in downtown Decatur. They were blessed with one son, Steven.  

In 1970, Emily returned to her alma mater to help dedicate the Kirkland Fine Arts Center, where she remained a dedicated patron and supporter for 50 years.

Emily Engelhardt was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Stanley Engelhardt, her parents, Louis and Eva Greenberg, and her brothers, Max Greenberg and Bill Greenberg. 

She is survived by her son, Steven Engelhardt and his wife Hilary, of St. Louis, MO; her niece, Dayna Engelhardt of Aventura, FL; her nephew, Darin Engelhardt of Boca Raton, FL; her nephew, Joel Greenberg, of Decatur, IL; and her nephew, Jerry Greenberg, who resides in Israel. 

Emily was truly a “Eshet Chayil,” a Woman of Valor. 

For almost a century, she touched many lives with her kindness, she endured with great courage, she served those she loved, and she served HaShem faithfully.

A graveside service is planned for Friday, February 19th at 1p.m. CST, in Section Z, Fairlawn Cemetery, in Decatur, Illinois.

Tributes in honor of Emily Engelhardt’s memory can be made to Temple B’nai Abraham in Decatur, IL; Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, MO; and the Kirkland Fine Arts Center at Millikin University in Decatur, IL.  

A Zoom Shiva is scheduled for 4:00 PM CST on Sunday, February 21; please join here. 

Advance registration required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

May her memory be a blessing to all who knew her and loved her.