In Memory of




Obituary for Adam "Karl" Ehlshlager

Adam Karl Ehlshlager, 83, of Roanoke, Va., passed away on Friday, October 27, 2023.

He was a devoted husband and father, known for his gentle nature, service to others, fondness for music, and love of nature.

Karl is survived by his wife, Charlotte Duncan Ehlshlager; his daughter, Mary Ann Ehlshlager; and son-in-law, Rob Sando.

He was preceded in death by his father, Adam Charles Augustus Ehlshlager; his mother, Elinor Jane Taylor Ehlshlager; and his sister, Ann Elizabeth Ehlshlager Brown.

Karl grew up in the DC area and while still in high school, served as a volunteer firefighter with the Glen Echo Fire Department. Karl attended Emory & Henry College where he studied history and led numerous community service projects including the formation of the first volunteer fire department in Meadowview, Va. While at Emory & Henry, Karl met his beloved bride, Charlotte, to whom he was deeply devoted for the rest of his life. His love for her, and hers for him, was visible to all who knew Karl and was his greatest joy.

Karl moved to the Roanoke area where he started a family, proudly served in the United States Army Reserve, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant, and launched his successful and lengthy career in insurance sales. He was licensed as a Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant and particularly enjoyed assisting small businesses in providing employee benefits. He also served as a Deacon and in other leadership roles within Windsor Hills Baptist Church and his tenor voice was long a cornerstone of the church choir.

Later in life, Karl restored Squad One, a 1952 Oren fire truck which had been put into service in Roanoke as “The Grey Goose.” He meticulously researched and acquired the parts needed and proudly drove the truck in numerous parades and musters throughout Virginia. Through this hobby, Karl enjoyed the comradery of dear friends and, ever of service to others, served for many years as the Western Regional Director of the Old Dominion Historical Fire Society which honored him with the Bob White Award, their highest award for service. In 2018, Karl generously donated Squad One to The Virginia Museum of Transportation where the truck is on display as an example, not just of fire apparatus, but of Roanoke’s history of transportation innovation.

Karl was a member of Woodlawn United Methodist Church, where he and his wife worshipped and greatly appreciated fellowship with other members of the congregation. While he felt that his voice was no longer suited to choir membership, he could still be found most Sundays in the pews, lifting his gentle tenor voice in song.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at Woodlawn United Methodist Church,  2922 Corbieshaw Road, SW, Roanoke, VA 24015.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.