Harold Erlenbach of Waterman is celebrating his 50th anniversary with H&R Block.
Erlenbach began his career in fall 1968 at the H&R Block office in DeKalb. In 1970, he opened the franchise office in Sycamore, and a year later opened the Sterling-Rock Falls office, which he and his wife, Jeanette, continued to manage for the next 27 years.
During that time, Erlenbach also served as the H&R Block district manager for the northwest quarter of Illinois for two years and opened 13 other new offices in the district.
During their time at the Sterling-Rock Falls office, the Erlenbachs supervised about 50 employees and prepared more than 5,000 tax returns a year. In those early years, a federal and a state return both were prepared for a fee of only $5, using paper, pencils and adding machines, before eventually progressing to the use of calculators and computers.
After selling the Sterling-Rock Falls franchise, the Erlenbachs returned to the Sycamore H&R Block office, working with Carme Gregory until 2010, when they moved to the Waterman office with Jeanne Tyne.
Harold Erlenbach’s career included attending conventions, conducting tax audits, and teaching tax classes for many years. From his beginnings as tax return preparer, he eventually became an enrolled agent and master tax preparer.
The Erlenbach have four children and seven grandchildren.