Reverend Dr. Robert Koenig was an associate professor of religion at Elmhurst College in the 1940s and ’50s and most recently was an active liaison between the College and its largest legacy family, the Koenig-Baurs. Professor Koenig died on November 28 of pneumonia. He was 94.
Professor Koenig was an Elmhurst faculty member from 1946 to 1954. He taught courses in philosophy and English Bible, training many ministers in the United Church of Christ. He received an honorary degree from the College in 1987, and a tree near Irion Hall is dedicated to him and his wife, Norma.
In recent years he led family fundraising for the John Koenig-Wilhelm Baur Memorial Scholarship, an endowed fund established by the Koenig-Baur family in 2007.
The family enjoys a 130-year association with Elmhurst College that dates back to 1879, when Robert Koenig’s grandfather, John Koenig, enrolled in the German Evangelical Proseminary at Elmhurst, which later became Elmhurst College. John Koenig’s sons, both Elmhurst College alumni, married two daughters of Wilhelm Baur, who also attended Elmhurst.
A graduate of the University of Chicago, Robert Koenig was teaching at Elmhurst when his eldest daughter, Elsa, was born. He and his wife were the resident advisors for Irion Hall, which at the time was a dormitory and now is home to the College’s Department of Music.
Elsa Koenig Weber ’70 is married to Elmhurst College Professor Emeritus John Weber.
For many years Robert Koenig guided the Christian Education curriculum of the United Church of Christ. He also was active in the Penn Southeast Conference until his death.
Professor Koenig is survived by six children, 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Koenig-Baur scholarship at Elmhurst College. To make your gift, please visit this secure website (select “Other” for type of donation and specify “Koenig-Baur scholarship”) or call the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at (630) 617-6424. Gifts also may be mailed to Elmhurst College, Attn: Office of Development, 190 S. Prospect Ave., Elmhurst, IL 60126. Checks should be made payable to Elmhurst College, and the memo line should reference the Koenig-Baur scholarship.