Hertha E. Flack

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Hertha E. Flack
A 1938 yearbook photograph of a young white woman.
Hertha Eisenmenger, from the 1938 Swarthmore College yearbook.
Hertha Emma Eisenmenger

(1916-10-10)October 10, 1916
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
DiedMarch 23, 2019(2019-03-23) (aged 102)
Other namesHertha Flack-Monroe (after second marriage)
OccupationPhilanthropist, author, painter

Hertha Emma Flack (née Eisenmenger; October 10, 1916 – March 23, 2019) was an American philanthropist, painter, and promoter of hiking.

Early life[]

Hertha Emma Eisenmenger was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Hugo Emil Eisenmenger and Charlotte Sonya Escherich. Her parents were born in Austria and married there before they moved to the United States. Her father was an electrical engineer and brother of physician Victor Eisenmenger; her grandfather was Austrian painter August Eisenmenger.[1][2] Her parents divorced in 1936,[3] and both remarried, her mother to prominent engineer Ernst Weber.[4][5]

Hertha Eisenmenger graduated from A. B. Davis High School in Mount Vernon, New York. She completed undergraduate studies in zoology at Swarthmore College in 1938,[6] and, in 1941, earned a master's degree in nursing from Yale School of Nursing.[7] She also studied painting at the Bronx Botanical Garden and with Zoltán Szabó in Vermont.[8]


In 1981, the Flacks co-authored a book, Ambling and Scrambling on the Appalachian Trail, about their eight-year project of hiking the Appalachian Trail as retirees. The book's cover photo shows the older couple, embracing and smiling while holding hiking sticks.[9] They also toured giving lectures and slideshows about their hiking hobby,[10] and radio interviews promoting the book.[11] In 1985, they established the Flack Achievement Award and the Flack Faculty Award for Teaching at Swarthmore College.[12] They also created the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) and the Polk County Community Foundation, in North Carolina.[13][14]

Flack also painted landscapes and botanical watercolors, and exhibited her works mainly in North Carolina,[15] as a member of Tryon Painters and Sculptors.[8][16] She was still participating in local art shows in her nineties.[17]

Personal life[]

Hertha Eisenmenger married naval officer James Monroe Flack in 1941; the best man at their wedding was Boston Red Sox pitcher Dave Ferriss.[18] After World War II, they lived in Massachusetts and North Carolina. They had two sons and two daughters. She was widowed when James M. Flack died in 1989, while the couple were traveling in the Soviet Union.[19] She remarried in 1993, to retired dentist Wray Stockton Monroe, and was widowed again when Monroe died in 2001.[20] She died in 2019, aged 102 years, in Tryon, North Carolina.[13][7]


  1. ^ "HUGO E.EISENMENGER, ELECTRICAL ENGINEER". The New York Times. August 29, 1950. p. 27 – via ProQuest.
  2. ^ "BARON EISENMENGER, COURT PHYSICIAN, DEAD: Medical Adviser to Late Archduke Francis Ferdinand and Ex- Emperor Charles". The New York Times. December 12, 1932. p. 15 – via ProQuest.
  3. ^ "Decrees Granted". Reno Gazette-Journal. 1936-08-08. p. 8. Retrieved 2020-01-07 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Ernst Weber, Engineer and Researcher". The Greenville News. 1996-02-18. p. 32. Retrieved 2020-01-07 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (February 17, 1996). "Ernst Weber, 94, Who Oversaw Polytechnic University's Growth". The New York Times. p. 50 – via ProQuest.
  6. ^ "Hertha Eisenmenger Flack '38". Swarthmore Bulletin. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  7. ^ a b "Hertha E. Flack '41MN | Obituaries". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  8. ^ a b "Hertha Flack, Jan Ashmore Works Shown". Asheville Citizen-Times. 1983-08-28. p. 107. Retrieved 2020-01-07 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ Flack, James M.; Flack, Hertha E. (1981). Ambling and Scrambling on the Appalachian Trail. Appalachian Trail Conference.
  10. ^ "Montvale". The Record. 1982-10-28. p. 7. Retrieved 2020-01-07 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "People Watching". The Berkshire Eagle. 1982-09-04. p. 8. Retrieved 2020-01-07 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "17 Distinctions, Awards, and Fellowships". Swarthmore College Catalog. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  13. ^ a b "Hertha E. Flack". The Tryon Daily Bulletin. 2019-03-26. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  14. ^ "James M. Flack, Indian Head Inc. Co-Founder, Dies". Greenville News. June 22, 1989. p. 32. Retrieved January 7, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Art League of Henderson County Welcomes Hertha Flack and Virginia Rostick at Guest Artist Reception April 1". Hendersonville Community News. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  16. ^ "Line-Shape-Color". Asheville Citizen-Times. 2001-08-12. p. 87. Retrieved 2020-01-07 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Hertha Flack and Virginia Rostick". Asheville Citizen-Times. 2007-04-01. p. 49. Retrieved 2020-01-07 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Ferriss Sends Tickets to Each Series Tilt to Former Coach". The Boston Globe. 1946-09-27. p. 12. Retrieved 2020-01-07 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ "James M. Flack, 75, Textile Executive, Dies". The New York Times. 1989-06-22. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  20. ^ "Wray Monroe". The Greenville News. 2001-09-25. p. 20. Retrieved 2020-01-07 – via Newspapers.com.
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