Rev. James Engel, Sr., 91

The Rev. James Fraley Engel, Sr., age 91, went to glory Sunday, June 15, 2014, in Watertown.

A celebration of James’ life will take place Tuesday, June 24 at 11 a.m. at Lake Auburn Moravian Church in Victoria.

Visitation will be Monday, June 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Iten Funeral Home in Watertown, and continue Tuesday at the church at 10 a.m., prior to the services.

Interment will be Wednesday, June 25 at 1 p.m. at Crystal Cemetery in Gladbrook, IA, with lunch to follow at the United Methodist Church in Gladbrook.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Gladbrook American Legion Ehrig-McTurk, Iowa Post #0127, 421 Johnson St, Gladbrook, Iowa, 50635.

Arrangements are being handled by the Iten Funeral Home in Watertown.

James was born July 1, 1922, in Gladbrook, IA.

He was a wise, loving man with a quick wit and a tireless work ethic that began at the age of 7 with both a community paper route and a job in the Gladbrook Mustard Factory.

James graduated from Gladbrook High School in 1940, with a love of learning, basketball, and boxing.

In World War II, James served in the United States Coast Guard.

He was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post that his father started in Gladbrook, IA; as well as a Lion; and a member of the Masonic Order, having taken instruction from his father, also a Mason.

James married Kathryn Coughlan of Berkeley Springs, WV March 26, 1944, in Baltimore, MD. The couple were married 60 years.

After the war, Jim brought his new family back to the Midwest, where he worked in sales for John Deere, Inland Steele, and finally, the US Department of Agriculture.

At 43, he was called to the ministry and moved his family to Iowa. Here, Rev. Engel served two student charges in Waucoma and Calmar, while obtaining his bachelor’s degree in history (1969 from Upper Iowa University, Fayette, IA).

He then moved to northern Illinois, where he served two churches, in Pearl City, and Florence Station. He obtained a master’s degree in divinity (1973 from Garrett Theological Seminary, Naperville, IL); served as associate pastor of Court Street United Methodist Church in Rockford, IL from 1974 to 1978; and served Lena United Methodist Church from 1978 to 1990, where he retired as Pastor Emeritus.

Even in retirement in Minnesota, James continued to honor his commitment to a lifetime of service, including churches in Finlayson, Sandstone, Kerrick, and Watertown. He was ministering to staff and visitors at Elim Rehab & Nursing Home with his spiritual cards until the week before he passed.

James was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver Herbert (Lee) Engel and Mignon Maurine (Fraley) Engel; his wife, Kathryn Francis (Coughlan) Engel; and brother-in-law Roger Goos.

He is survived by sisters Mary Lee Goos, and Suzanne (Lock) Young; his brother, Robert Engel (Elizabeth); his children,  James Fraley Engel,  Jr. and Retha (Laughridge), John Oliver Engel and Kathryn (Silhacek), Kathryn Marie Engel-Terasaki and Don (Terasaki), and Kelly Sue Engel James and Raymond (James); his grandchildren,  Colby Engel (Brandy), Kimberly Good (Jeff), Evan Burris (Meagan), Forrest Burris (Rebecca), Graham Burris; Tammy (John) Schmitt, and Richard (Kelly) Terasaki; 10 great-grandchildren; and five step-great-grandchildren.

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