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September 6, 2013

Carl William Ernst Engelhart

PLATTSBURGH — Carl William Ernst Engelhart, 95, long-time resident of Plattsburgh and Professor Emeritus of English at Plattsburgh State, died on Sept. 4, 2013, in Plattsburgh.

Engelhart was born on Jan. 14, 1918, in Waterville, Ohio, the son of the Rev. Frank and Ida (Reischauer) Engelhart. He grew up in various communities in the Midwest, places where his father, a Lutheran minister, served many congregations. He graduated from the Robert E. Denfeld High School in Duluth, Minn. He received his A.B. degree in 1939 from the University of Chicago. His M.A. and Ph.D. degrees were awarded by the University of Minnesota, where Engelhart served as an instructor of English. During World War II he taught for several years at the Kemper Military Academy in Boonville, Mo.

It was at the University of Minnesota where Carl met Margaret (Stevens) Engelhart, a fellow instructor who had earned her degrees at the University of Michigan and Columbia University. In 1949, they were married in her home town of Flint, Mich. In 1951, they moved to Plattsburgh when Carl was appointed instructor of English at the university. He rose through the academic ranks, becoming a Professor of English in 1956.

During the first five years at Plattsburgh State, Engelhart, along with Dr. George Yokum staged five all-college musicals: Brigadoon, Finians Rainbow, Trial by Jury, Down in the Valley, Carousel, and Of Thee I Sing. Former students still speak fondly of their participation in these productions.

In 1958, Carl was the first member of the College faculty to be awarded a Senior Fulbright Lectureship, which led him to the Interpreters' Institute of the University of Mainz, in what was then West Germany. During the summer of 1962, he was awarded a travel grant permitting him to participate in a US State Department sponsored symposium on Indian culture, which took place in Osmania University in Hyderabad, India. In 1967 he was awarded another Senior Fulbright Lectureship at the University of Graz, Austria, which honored him with a medal for meritorious service. His wife Margaret and children accompanied him on the year-long trips to West Germany and Austria. During the 1975-76 academic year Engelhart acted as a Visiting Fellow at the Hull (England) College of Higher Education and again was joined by his wife and youngest daughter, Deborah.

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