Eleanor Engel

Honored by:Allison Engel and Scott Kirkpatrick
Brick location:F:27  map

Eleanor Elsie Frick was born in Cleveland at home. She was graduated from John Adams High School and went on to Ohio University where she studied home economics. Upon graduation, she took graduate courses in child development at Ohio U. She also became assistant nursery school director at the Ohio University nursery school.

She later became director of a nursery school run by the Cleveland Board of Education for parents working in defense plants during World War II. The school operated from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. and had a coal furnace, gravel playground, and few amenities. On her fiance's first furlough from the Army, they were married at Camp Rucker, Alabama. They honeymooned by bus in Panama City, Florida.

She then went to work in the Jack & Heintz munitions factory in Cleveland, and her husband, Jack Engel, was sent to Officer Candidates School at Fort Benning, Georgia. She left her job and joined him in Georgia, although she lived in a rented front bedroom of a local home and he stayed on the base. She returned to Cleveland when their daughter, Joan, was born. Ten months, later her husband returned from the war and they moved to New York where she ran the nursery school in Shanks Village and he worked on a master's degree at Columbia University.

A second daughter, Melissa, was born. Twins Allison and Peggy were born at West Point Hospital when her husband was fighting in the Korean War. In a few years, they moved to Chagrin Falls, a suburb of Cleveland, where she became active in community and church programs. A son, Jonathan, was born in 1955. She undertook one of the community's first job-sharing efforts, sharing the librarianship of the Chagrin Falls Middle School for several years.

She returned to Kent State University to work on a master's degree in library science. She then accepted the job of head librarian at Wickliffe High School, a position she held for 13 years until she and her husband moved to Iowa. While she lived in Nevada, Iowa, she became the town's librarian for ten years. She moved to Chapel Hill, NC, in 1989. She currently is a volunteer at two libraries at Ephesus Elementary School and at the Chapel Hill Public Library.