Whether or not she was helping provide the historical treasures of Egypt or the audio of the Metropolitan Opera to town, irrespective of whether she was advocating for libraries, museums or colleges, couple of arts, culture and educational establishments in the Mid-South ended up untouched by the generosity and enthusiasm of Helen “Honey” Scheidt.
Scheidt died Sept. 11 at the age of 90. Her passing comes less than five months right after the demise of her husband, previous cotton government Rudi Scheidt.
Together, the Scheidts were being the city’s accurate power pair when it came to philanthropy. For additional than 60 a long time they have been synonymous with initiatives to extend Memphis’ cultural and inventive natural environment.
The Scheidts served on the board of just about each arts organization, aided develop area movies and donated tens of millions of dollars to the University of Memphis, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Memphis School of Art and Memphis Arts Pageant, among lots of others.
The act of giving
From a youthful age, Honey Scheidt was lifted to value the act of offering.
Helen “Honey” Hohenberg was born to privilege in Alabama in 1930, the daughter of Elkan Hohenberg, whose father experienced started Hohenberg Bros. Cotton Co.
“I was born with a silver spoon, but improved than that, with a philanthropic spoon in my mouth,” Scheidt recalled in a 2013 job interview with the Memphis General public Library. “My [family] taught us that was the most significant issue to do in daily life.”
Her passion for art was more fueled by her mother Dorothy Hohenberg. “My mother was a wonderful individualist, she did matters the way she observed it,” Scheidt said. “She liked magnificence, she was an artist herself. My mom loved gardening much too. The fascination in [art] and philanthropy I saved. The fascination in gardening, I did not,” she would joke.
Scheidt moved to Memphis with her spouse and children at the age of 3 and grew up in what was then a very rural place about White Station Highway, the place she rode horseback each individual early morning and attended a a person-home faculty. She eventually remaining Memphis to attend college or university, learning artwork, and graduating from Sarah Lawrence School in Yonkers, New York.
She settled in New York Metropolis in the early 1950s, the place she worked in the artwork business. It was there that she fulfilled her long run husband, Rudi Scheidt, a chemical engineer from California. The pair married in 1954, and immediately after briefly living in Denver, they resettled in Memphis the adhering to yr.
Following the dying of Elkan Hohenberg, Rudi Scheidt and Honey Scheidt’s brother, Julian, took in excess of the Hohenberg spouse and children company and grew it into a person of the premier cotton corporations in the world in the 1960s and ‘70s.
Normally accompanying her partner on his a lot of business enterprise travels, Scheidt was afforded a distinctive look at of arts and tradition in the U.S. and abroad.
“[Those in] cotton business enterprise lived a quite amazing existence, we could be at any nation at any time,” she claimed. “Many men and women in the cotton small business traveled abroad so we [saw] points that other persons did not.” Scheidt was adamant that all Memphians need to be ready to see and encounter what she had.
Beginning in the early 1960s, the Scheidts grew to become avid art collectors and devoted arts advocates for the town. Scheidt and her partner were essential figures in bringing New York’s Metropolitan Opera to Memphis for a series of performances, so serving to start what would ultimately grow to be Opera Memphis.
Egyptology would turn out to be another passion for Scheidt, and the loved ones grew to become included with the College of Memphis’ Egyptian Artwork & Archaeology program.
In the mid-‘80s, the Scheidts ended up going to a museum in Cairo, Egypt, on the lookout above an show of mummies and antiquities when she posed the problem: “Why couldn’t we deliver anything like this to Memphis?”
In 1987, the “Ramesses the Excellent” artwork exhibition arrived at the Cook dinner Convention Center with the aid of the Scheidts. Approximately 700,000 people attended the event, and the financial effects of the exhibit was approximated at $85 million.
A lasting legacy
In later on many years, the Scheidts grew to become most discovered with their aid of Memphis songs and audio training. In 2000, the few helped broaden the U of M new music college and revived its opera application with a $3 million present.
For her efforts, Scheidt would acquire an array of honors. She gained the Humanitarian Award of Nationwide Council for Christians and Jews in 1999. In 2001, she was given the Tennessee Governor’s Art Leadership Award, along with her spouse. She also obtained awards from the Memphis Music Fee, Liberty Bowl, Germantown Accomplishing Arts Middle and the Memphis Library. In 2014, she was recognized with an honorary degree from U of M.
Scheidt and her partner ended up also closely involved with Temple Israel — and instrumental in Temple’s go to East Memphis in the 1970s. They also played a pivotal role in the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and its Henry S. Jacobs Camp. The few also set up the Union for Reform Judaism’s Scheidt Seminar for incoming Temple Presidents throughout North The us.
Scheidt is survived by her small children Susan Arney, Helen Gronauer, Rudi Scheidt Jr. and Elkan Scheidt 11 grandchildren and 7 good-grandchildren.
A personal graveside support for Scheidt was held Monday.