Heidelberg Obituary: Enid (Oldfather) Pancoast, ’44

Heidelberg has lost one of its most loyal and generous benefactors. Enid (Oldfather) Pancoast, Class of ’44, died Sunday, November 5, 2017.

Few alumni match the loyalty and generosity of Mrs. Pancoast. Along with her late husband, Reginald, who preceded her in death in 2008, Mrs. Pancoast was a member of The University Society of our Builders and Benefactors, recognizing their significant lifetime giving. The couple also held membership in the Heritage Society, having designated Heidelberg as the recipient of a bequest that will support The Ohl Endowment, the Theatre Department and the sciences, through ACCE. They also very generously supported the construction of Gillmor Science Hall and were long-time members of the Fellows Organization.

Through many decades, their demonstrated love and support for music at Heidelberg has been nearly unparalleled. Many students attended Heidelberg because of encouragement and financial support from the Pancoasts. As was their style, they wanted no accolades for their generosity. Frequent attendees at ’Berg music concerts and theatre performances, in 2003 Heidelberg recognized their support by naming the Pancoast Recital Hall inside Brenneman Music Hall in their honor. Together, they received the Alumni Citation in 1979.

A member of the Concert Choir and the Philalethean Society during her student days, Mrs. Pancoast completed a graduate semester at Harvard University in 1945, followed by interior design training in New York City. Elected to the Professional Institute of Interior Design in 1970, she and her husband owned and operated an upscale furniture store and design studio in Republic for many years. She also designed furniture as well as decorated many homes, offices and institutions, including Heidelberg’s Admission Office, the Bryenton Honors Center seminar room, Brenneman Music Hall when it was built, the redecoration of Ohl Concert Hall and updating the recital hall (before it was named Pancoast). Mrs. Pancoast provided funds for the recent upgrade to electronic equipment in Pancoast Recital Hall and for the new patio outside Brenneman, which will be named for her.

There will be a celebration of Mrs. Pancoast’s life on her birthday, Friday, January 12, 2018, from 4-6:30 p.m. at The Empire, 138 S. Washington St., in Tiffin. The sharing of your memories and photos are welcome. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. The Lindsey-Olds Funeral Home in Bloomville is assisting the family with arrangements.

“All of us were fortunate that Heidelberg was such a significant part of the life of this lovely, generous, and engaging lady,” said President Rob Huntington.

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