Eleanor Harvey, at 97

Champion of Englewood's People and Past

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

By JAY LEVIN
STAFF WRITER
Eleanor Harvey, a lifelong Englewood resident and the Historical Society founder who championed and celebrated the city at every turn -- and didn't take no for an answer -- died Sunday.

She was 97 and had suffered a stroke last year.

"She just went to sleep, and that was it," said Miss Harvey's brother, Lawrence Harvey, with whom she lived on Liberty Road.

Miss Harvey left a legacy for Englewood's 26,000 residents.

The elegant cast-iron clock in front of City Hall? She pushed for it and helped raise the $25,000 to pay for it.

Liberty Square? She was the force behind the revitalization of the historic area at the base of the Palisade Avenue shopping district.

Trees? She began a planting program.

The Memorial Day Parade? She helped start it.

"Eleanor consistently and optimistically engaged in trying to get us to recognize what a wonderful community this is, and to treasure its past," said friend and former Mayor Sondra Greenberg.

Miss Harvey formed the Englewood Historical Society in the 1970s after retiring from a 43-year teaching career in her hometown. For much of that time she taught social studies at Dwight Morrow High School.

"No one took greater pride in the role that Englewood played from the Revolutionary War days through the early 1900s, when we became a bedroom community to Wall Street ," Mayor Michael Wildes said.

"Eleanor was colorblind and saw value in the diversity of our city, and was present at every event she could physically muster the energy to get to."

Miss Harvey took her role as historian and preservationist seriously, telling The Record in 2000: "It's our responsibility to make a note of these things for present and future generations."

Among her many other activities, Miss Harvey organized Englewood's 1976 celebration of the nation's bicentennial, as well as local celebrations of United Nations Day .

In addition to her brother, Miss Harvey is survived by several nieces and nephews.

Private funeral arrangements were handled by Barrett Funeral Home in Tenafly . An 11 a.m. memorial service has been scheduled for Aug. 11 at West Side Presbyterian Church, 192 W. Demarest Ave., Englewood .

The Rev. Martha Grace, who became pastor of West Side Presbyterian in 1999, said Miss Harvey "made a significant contribution to my knowledge of the community."

"Eleanor was a joyful person, a person of vitality," Grace said. "Everyone in the community knows Eleanor or knows of Eleanor."

 

Reproduced from The Record
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
by Michael J. Wildes, Mayor, City of Englewood
2-10 N. Van Brunt Street
Englewood , NJ 07631
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