National Wrestling Hall of Fame

John Illengwarth Passes

NJ Executive Board Member, Wrestling Contributor, Former Lehigh Wrestler

The New Jersey Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame mourns the passing of one of its signature members, John Illengwarth, who passed away on March 7, 2018.

John had served the New Jersey Chapter for the past several years in a variety of leadership capacities some of which have been corresponding secretary, chapter historian, loyal contributor, and many other challenging tasks when called upon, or volunteering for service to the chapter membership. John was also very confident when expressing his opinion about issues that were tangential to the advancement of the sport of wrestling, and how the chapter could play a significant role with the realization of that effort.

John’s early years were spent in the community of Roselle Park, New Jersey, where he wrestled for its high school placing at its state championship competition as a heavyweight. John later went on to ply his craft at his beloved Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he was its heavyweight for three years having twice placed at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Championships, and subsequently qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in 1963 earning a 6th place also at heavyweight. Upon graduation John remained a loyal supporter of his alma mater attending many Lehigh wrestling matches both near and far, contributing his time, talent and treasure to a variety of program and building initiatives, and most of all remaining in contact with many of his former teammates over the years.

Professionally, John enjoyed success in real estate as a broker, developer, and property manager, and he was a resident of Roseland, New Jersey for the past several years. John Illengwarth was a “good man” who will be missed for his service, commitment, and dedication to the sport of wrestling, but more so for his “down to earth”, candid style, and generous contributions to the NJ Chapter, and to all those who knew him and regarded him as a friend.