March 16, 1922October 9, 2020

Erna (Adler) Illfelder, formerly of Dumont, N.J., passed away on Friday, October 9, 2020, at the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg. Erna was born on March 16, 1922 in Edelfingen near Bad Mergentheim, Baden Wurtenburg, Germany. She was the daughter of the late Adolph and Elsa(Hahn) Adler. She lived in Germany until the age of 18 when she left Germany with her parents in 1940, fleeing Nazi persecution. She and her parents were the last Jewish family to escape Nazi persecution in her hometown. All who were left behind were killed. They traveled to the US via the Trans Siberian Railroad across Russia, through Shanghai, Yokohama, and Hawaii, landing in San Francisco. She and her parents settled in New York City, where Erna worked as a seamstress. On June 16, 1946, in New York City, she married Bernhard Illfelder, who had recently returned to the US after serving as a US soldier in WWII. They had a long and happy marriage until his death in June, 2003. Following their marriage they lived in Mount Vernon, NY, and Kew Garden Hills, NY, before settling in Dumont, NJ, where they lived together for almost 50 years. In recent years Erna has been living at the Residence and Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg. Erna was a homemaker, and a devoted wife and mother. She was also a life member of Hadassah and was an active member of the Bergenfield-Dumont Jewish Center (later Congregation Beth Israel of the Northern Valley) in Bergenfield, NJ. She is survived by her son, Dr. Mark Illfelder of York, PA and his wife Janice, and her daughter, Dr. Joyce Illfelder-Kaye of State College, PA. Also surviving are grandchildren Adam Illfelder and his wife Danielle of Villanova, PA, Carly Schrager and her husband Adam of Leesburg, VA, Aaron Kaye of Ann Arbor, MI, and Joshua Kaye of Miami, FL, and great-grandchildren Ilana, Isabelle & Benjamin Illfelder and Diana and Becca Schrager. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Ludwig Adler and her son-in-law, Dr. Michael Kaye. A private service for the immediate family will be held on Monday, October 12, 2020 at Beth El Cemetery, Paramus, N.J. with her nephew, Rabbi Yitzchok Adler, officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Assoc., Greater PA Chapter, 2595 Interstate Dr., Ste. 100, Harrisburg, PA 17110 or the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg, 4000 Linglestown Rd., Harrisburg, PA, 17112.


  • Erna Illfelder

    Monday, October 12, 2020



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