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Harold T. Rohlfing
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Obituary for Harold T. Rohlfing

Harold T. Rohlfing, age 84, of Elmhurst, formerly of Oak Park, veteran U.S. Army; beloved husband of Caryl nee Leininger; loving father of Gregory (Cindy), Joan Rohlfing (Pallav Das), Anne (Peter) Peregrine, William (Sheila Dougherty) Rohlfing and the late Julia (Douglas) Clemons; cherished grandfather of Amy and Ellen Rohlfing, Arjun Rohlfing-Das, Alison and Katherine Peregrine, Ellery Rohlfing, and Richard, Grace and Sophia Clemons; dear brother of John (Virginia) and the late Richard (the late Doris) Rohlfing; fond uncle of many. Memorial Visitation Saturday February 3, 2018 from 10 a.m. until time of Service 11 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division St., River Forest. Private interment Concordia Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to Bach Cantata Vespers, c/o Grace Lutheran Church, (graceriverforest.org/giving/) are appreciated.

We so very much miss Harold, a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, teacher, counselor and friend. Harold accomplished much during his lifetime and excelled at so many things. He pursued his life with great energy and passion and most importantly, to those closest to him, he developed deep relationships and gave much of himself to others.

He was born on August 9, 1933, to Johanna and Richard and grew up on the Concordia Teacher’s College campus in River Forest, Illinois. We picture him following his dad through the halls of the music rooms hearing and seeing music taught and made, both for its own sake and to the glory of God. Harold grew up with two brothers, Richard (Dick) and John. Harold was a lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest. He was baptized at Grace and attended Grace school. He also attended Oak Park River Forest High School. He already must have demonstrated great interest and facility with music; it was in high school when his parents bought him a fine Heckel Bassoon, an instrument that was an important part of his life to the very end.

Harold pursued a career as a musician and music educator, receiving both a bachelors and masters in music education at Northwestern University. In between degrees he married Caryl Jean Leininger and promptly left town to serve in the US Army. There he put his music degree to work as a chaplain’s assistant, at one time playing organ for Easter services in the Underground Pentagon for the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After his Army service, Harold and Caryl returned to Chicago where Harold picked up his father’s teaching responsibilities at Concordia, and also taught at Grace School. They settled in having five children, Greg, Joan, Anne, Bill and Julia. In addition to raising a young family with Caryl, Harold introduced hundreds of young people to music, teaching them their first instruments and introducing them to the Grace School Band. He passed on so much musical talent to those he taught at Concordia as well.

For a second career, Harold became a lawyer, graduating from The John Marshall Law School in 1972. He ably served many clients with estate planning, adoptions, real estate closings and other things. Somehow, holding down two full time jobs and being the consummate family man, Harold also earned his private pilot certificate and became an avid aviator. This is something that he shared with his two brothers who were both pilots. Harold continued to pursue his multiple passions, “all in,” with great cheer and grace, until his health began to deteriorate as he battled Parkinson’s disease late in life. Even when Parkinson’s had a strong hold, Harold continued to live his life to the fullest, with a cheerful disposition and tenacity. Harold is remembered for many things. What we will remember the most is his wonderful sense of humor and how much he loved to laugh, his musicianship and, most of all, his deep love for his family from his wife Caryl and his children through his nine grandchildren.


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Previous Events

Memorial Visitation

Saturday

3

Feb

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Grace Lutheran Church

7300 Division St.
River Forest, IL 60305

Memorial Service

Saturday

3

Feb

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Grace Lutheran Church

7300 Division St.
River Forest, IL 60305


Memorial Contribution

Bach Cantata Vespers

c/o Grace Lutheran Church 7300 Division St. River Forest, IL 60305
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