Sunday, August 23, 2015

It’s just too pedestrian to write that Marge Englehart, widow of former Beacon Journal State Desk editor Pat Englehart, died.

Marge was the only person who could quell the whirlwind that was Patrick T. Englehart, who put the zany in Zanesville, his birthplace and where he began his journalism career after his Northwestern University graduation.  Anyone who says otherwise talks like a man with a paper asshole.
Let’s get this straight from the get-go: Pat Englehart drove a crew of reporters and photographers stoked by his journalistic fire to the BJ’s first Pulitzer Prize. I’ve seen PR releases where others, usually ranking higher than Pat on the BJ totem pole, listed the Pulitizer as one of their accomplishments.
In truth, what they did was unleash Pat onto the Gov. James Rhodes empire. The rest was Pat. Bill Hershey, a former Washington correspondent and Columbus bureau chief for the BJ, once called Pat a “Mad Man” in an eloquent tribute to the Rolling Rock and DeNobil addict.
The 1970 killing of four Kent State students and the wounding of nine others by the Ohio National guard was a grievious error that Pat would not let Rhodes or anyone else forget.
A warehouse at the BJ held a myriad of boxes crammed with photos and reporters’ notes that were a testimony to the tenacity of Pat in getting to the truth.

But Pat always had Marge to return to in their Mogadore home, where I’m sure his constant foot-tapping during multiple conversations calmed down.

Let’s get something else straight: Marge was no shrinking violet. Even in her late 80s she took daily walks around the Elks retirement complex and drove herself to the grocery.  A former teacher she plunged into volunteer work that made a difference. This was not a woman to just plunk herself in a rocking chair and wait to die.

After his BJ retirement, health problems caused Pat and Marge to move to Ocala, Florida so that Pat could get treatments regularly and Marge could have access to a college campus. Pat had to endure such things as having his blood warmed and recirculated back into his body to battle his T-cell lymphoma.

Marge remained in Florida for seven years after Pat’s 1995 death. She moved to the 200-acre Elks National Home in Bedford, Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on U.S. 460 between Roanoke and Lynchburg for the remainder of her life, bowling and cruising to Alaska.

With Pat gone, their children became even more of a focus for her.

Peter, once a producer for ABC Sports, is an avid marathon runner. Mary Pat is married to an architect. Andrew is a lawyer and a civil engineer with a dozen or two people working for him. Phillip has a doctorate and is in Kansas City, Missouri.

Pat worked in Fairmont, Minnesota and Evansville, Indiana before joining the Beacon Journal’s wire desk in 1954 under future executive editor and publisher Ben Maidenburg, another legend.

When Pat’s accomplice on the State Desk and the founder of this BJ Alums blog died, Marge wrote to me: “Pat always had great, great respect for Harry and his ability.”

That is the greatest compliment Harry ever got.

Marge will join Pat, a Navy veteran of World War II, whose ashes are in the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, about 20 miles south of Ocala.


Together in life, together in death.


I think it is no coincidence that Marge died 66 years to the day after she married Pat. They went together like peanut butter and jelly on a glorious sandwich.


St. Peter must be relieved that he finally has Marge to tamp down some of Pat’s fire, which rivaled anything the Devil ever concocted.


The obituary for the Mad Man’s magnificent madame, Marjorie Lou Clevenger Englehart:


Marjorie Lou (Clevenger) Englehart

1927 - 2015


Marjorie Lou (Clevenger) Englehart, age 88, passed away in Bedford, Va. on August 20, 2015. The date was also her wedding anniversary, as she married her late husband, Patrick T. Englehart 66 years prior on August 20, 1949.

She was born to Guy and Oma Clevenger on March 19, 1927 in Salem, W. Va. and was a graduate of Salem College. Foremost, Marjorie considered herself a teacher. She taught English and Humanities in a variety of grades and school districts and retired from Lake Local Schools in Uniontown, Ohio in 1988. She was a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, an honor presented annually to outstanding Ohio elementary and secondary teachers. Upon retirement, she continued teaching as a volunteer literacy tutor in Kent, Ohio and also, wrote several local feature articles for the Beacon Journal.

She began her career in Zanesville, Ohio where she met Patrick, a World War II veteran preparing to go to
Northwestern University. After marriage, they would live in Evanston, Ill; Fairmont, Minnesota and Evansville, Indiana before settling in Mogadore, Ohio to raise their four children. Throughout these years, Marge was active in the local garden and bridge clubs and the Mogadore United Methodist Church and its Sarah Circle. In her later years she enjoyed golf, reading, crossword puzzles, rooting for the Cleveland Indians and gazing at the beauty of the Peaks of Otter. Additionally, she served as the Chaplin for the National Elks Home for a number of years. Like many born out of the Depression era, she had a strong work ethic and in addition to teaching, she entertained listeners with stories of her childhood jobs running errands for pennies, selling candy on the Atlantic City boardwalk and most notably, as a private messenger to historic FBI Director J.Edgar Hoover. She will be remembered for living life on her own terms in a lively and engaging style--including tap dancing-- and also for the immense love and pride she had for her children and their families.

Marjorie is predeceased by her husband, Patrick Englehart; grandson, Spencer Akers and brother, Jack Clevenger. She is survived by her four children, Peter (Janice), Phillip (Margaret), Mary Pat Akers (James) and Andrew (Victoria) Englehart; as well as grandchildren, Abram, Jacob, Natalie, Oliver, Isabel, Ian, Adeline, Patrick and Logan; as well as her two nieces, Jill Rango and Christi Dupre.

Special thanks are given to her loving friends, Marie Powers and Annette Spinner as well as all the amazing staff at Bedford Hospice Care and the English Meadows/Elks Home where she received exceptional and loving care.

She will be buried beside her husband, Patrick at the Florida National Veterans Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. The family will hold a private memorial service at a later date. Condolences can be made through THARP FUNERAL HOME of Bedford, VA. In lieu of flowers, donations may also be made in Marjorie's memory to: Ohio Retired Teachers Association (ORTA), 8050 N. High Street, Ste. 190; Columbus, Ohio 43235.


Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Aug. 23, 2015

This note came from Bill Hershey, former BJ Columbus bureau chief:

“Thanks for the nice piece on Marge Englehart. She and Pat were the best. They were very kind and generous to Marcia and me when we arrived in Akron in 1970 in an old Chevy and not much else.”

Marcia is Bill’s wife. She shares a home with dogs.

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