Posted On March 1st, 2012 -


A stellar light went out when Eloise Engle Monsarrat died peacefully at home on February 24, 2012 in Honolulu. She is survived by her nieces, Kathryn Engle of Boise Idaho and Karyn Engle of Sanford, North Carolina, and nephew Ronald Engle of Easton, Maryland. Eloise was born in St. Louis, Missouri on March 30, 1922. She graduated in 1943 from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. While she attended WU she was a member and then President of Delta Delta Delta sorority. After graduation she moved to Ames, Iowa where she attended the Curtiss-Wright Cadettes Aeronautical Engineering course at Iowa State College for 10 months. The Curtiss-Wright Corporation contracted with Iowa State to conduct this program to train civilian women assistants for their engineering departments; they were trained in drafting, stress analysis, materials lab, aerodynamics, and production liaison. The cadets were given adequate training so that they could assist engineers with their jobs hoping their engineers would be able to accomplish more in less time with assistance of trained helpers. She was one of 84 women graduates who worked at the Curtiss-Wright Corporation aircraft plant in St. Louis from January 1944 through June 1945.

In June 1945 she moved to New York City where she worked as a Junior Engineer for Bendix Helicopter Company until February 1946. From April 1946 through November 1946 she worked at Fairchild Pilotless Planes Division of Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation in Jamaica, New York as a Junior Weights Engineer. She move back to St. Louis and worked for McDonnell Aircraft Corporation as a Junior Stress Analyst from January 1947 until June 1948.

On Sunday August 22, 1948 at 5:25 in the morning Eloise and her good friend Ruth Jane departed from East St. Louis in Ruth Jane’s Chevy and arrived in Los Angeles, California the following Friday. On Saturday they landed in Honolulu. Eloise had accepted a position as a second grade teacher at Molokai High & Elementary School in Hoolehua where she taught until September 1949 when she moved to Honolulu to teach first grade at Punahou.

Eloise began working at the Mutual Telephone Company (later to become known as The Hawaiian Telephone Company) during the summer of 1951 and in June 1952, she resigned her teaching position at Punahou and went to work for the Telephone Company. She met Roger Monsarrat when they were both attendants at a mutual friends’ wedding in Honolulu. They were married on July 19, 1952 in Honolulu. In 1959 they settled in the house they had built on Ala Amoamo Street in Moanalua Gardens.

Over the years she worked at the Telephone Company as a statistical clerk, engineering clerk, secretary, department head secretary, and management training assistant. She retired in 1983 and began earnestly pursuing her second and most important career as a volunteer.

What truly set Eloise apart from most other people is her passion for helping others. She enthusiastically and joyfully spent countless hours working to better the lives of other people with organizations including (but not limited to) the American Red Cross as a “Gray Lady” at Tripler Army Hospital, as a Lt. Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, for Junior Achievement of Hawaii, the Moanalua Senior Citizens Club, Kokua Council for Senior Citizens, and The Shelter for Abused Spouses and Children. Her greatest passion, however, was animals, particularly dogs. She and Roger raised Australian Kelpies and were instrumental in elevating the breed’s popularity in America. The volunteer work that she was most proud of was developing and participating in the Human Animal Bond visiting animal program at Tripler Army Medical Center under the auspices of the American Red Cross. She and her Kelpies Margie, then Qu-i spent many hours providing joy to patients, families, and staff at Tripler.

Eloise was lauded on numerous occasions for her volunteer work. Just a few of the highlights include Meritorious Service and Commanders Citation Award in Civil Air Patrol (1982), Citizen of the Year Award for Tripler Army Medical Center, and an Exceptional Service Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Federal Community from the Honolulu-Pacific Federal Executive Board. But her proudest moment was when President George W. Bush presented her the Presidential Volunteer Service Award on November 6, 2006 for the 10,000 hours she devoted as a volunteer. She and Roger greeted Air Force One upon landing at Hickham AFB and met the President and First Lady with leis.

Please join us to celebrate her amazing life at 11 AM on March 9, 2012 at the Monsarrat Family Plot at Oahu Cemetery, followed by lunch and talk story on the Chapel lanai. Aloha attire. Pets and lawn chairs are welcome. If you wish, please bring a memento of Eloise to share. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hawaiian Humane Society or Hawaii Fi-Do.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran