Neil Andrew Englehart, 55, of Perrysburg, passed away on May 2, 2020, at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Maumee, Ohio due to complications related to a heart attack suffered on April 28.
Neil was born May 6, 1964 in Buffalo, and raised in Fayetteville, outside of Syracuse. He graduated from Fayetteville-Manlius High School in 1982 where he was a member of the Fencing Club, an interest he picked up again in 2019 by joining the Toledo Historical Swordsmanship Society. As a high school student, Neil was also active in “Voices,” a student club dedicated to the promotion of literature and art. At Oberlin College he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1987 with a double major in East Asian studies and history. His time at Oberlin nurtured his life-long love of learning and the study and appreciation of international cultures. He made his first of many trips to Thailand as an undergraduate participant in the University of Wisconsin’s College Year in Thailand program. Neil went on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.
Neil met his wife, Melissa Kary Miller, in Evanston, Illinois while completing a postdoctoral research fellowship at Northwestern University. They were married on Dec 21, 1996, at Zion Lutheran Church in Wooster, Ohio, and shared 23 wonderful years together.
A dedicated scholar and educator, Neil taught political science and international studies as a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University before joining the faculty of Lafayette College in Easton, PA. He was an assistant professor of government and law at Lafayette from 1998 to 2005. During this time, he spent two years on research leave with his family, living for a year in London while conducting research at the British Library, and living for a year in Princeton, NJ, as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study. In 2005 Neil joined the faculty of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Neil was a professor of political science and department chair from 2011 to 2020.
An international expert on human rights, state failure and state capacity, non-state armed groups and Southeast Asia, Neil authored two books: “Sovereignty, State Failure and Human Rights: Petty Despots and Exemplary Villains” and “Culture and Power in Traditional Siamese Government.” He was also a co-editor and contributor to “Constructing Human Rights in the Age of Globalization.” With his wife, Neil co-authored several scholarly articles on international women’s rights. His work appears in numerous academic journals, including Human Rights Quarterly, Journal of Human Rights, Journal of Peace Research, International Political Science Review and Polity. Those interested in learning more about Neil’s accomplished career may access his personal webpage at neilenglehart.net.
Neil’s tremendous appreciation of other cultures was expressed through his love of foreign travel. For both research and pleasure he visited 14 countries: Belize, Canada, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North), France, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Republic of Korea (South), Singapore and Thailand. He led undergraduate study trips for students at both Lafayette College (Thailand and Myanmar) and Bowling Green State University (Japan).
Neil was a devoted and active member of Zoar Lutheran Church in Perrysburg, Ohio. He served as both vice president and president of church council and often served as lector at Sunday morning worship services. A lifelong lover of music, and world music in particular, Neil also served on the Worship and Music Committee and Pipe Organ Replacement Committee.
An outdoorsman, Neil loved birdwatching, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, camping and cross-country skiing. One of his greatest joys was to share these pursuits with his wife and sons. He was a proud and active scouting parent. He also enjoyed running, swimming, yoga and maintaining his physical fitness. Neil was always ready to learn something new. As a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego, he learned to surf and did so regularly. When his young sons took ice skating lessons, Neil enrolled in a series of adult skating lessons so that they could skate together. Shortly after he met his bridge-playing wife, he learned bridge so that they could play together with friends. Most recently, Neil decided to learn Old English, and had been teaching himself at home over breakfast every morning since 2016.
Neil was a lifelong blood donor. His commitment to saving lives and improving the health of others endures. As an organ donor, Neil’s gift of life to others was celebrated during an Honor Walk at Saint Luke’s Hospital on Saturday, May 2.
Those who knew Neil found him to be a kind, generous, open-minded and intelligent man who not only respected, but valued people of diverse opinions and backgrounds. He showed compassion to all through his calm, steady demeanor.
Neil’s family would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to their dear neighbors and nearby workers who were first responders, the Perrysburg EMS and the medical and nursing staff at Saint Luke’s Hospital for the compassionate care they extended to Neil and his family during his final days.
Neil is preceded in death by his father Bruce Forrest Englehart. He is survived by his mother, Joy Colleen (Rapp) Englehart; his wife, Melissa Kary Miller; sons, Nathan Miller Englehart and Andrew Carl Englehart; brother Alec Bruce Englehart and his wife Barbara Jean (Kelly) Englehart; and his beloved Scottish Terrier, Oiskhe (“Whiskie”).
A memorial service to celebrate Neil’s life will be held at a later, post-pandemic date. Arrangements have been entrusted to Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg (419-874-3133). Those who wish to honor Neil may make memorial contributions in his name to Zoar Lutheran Church, 314 E. Indiana Ave, Perrysburg, Ohio 43551 or the American Red Cross. Condolences may delivered to the family online at witzlershank.com.