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category: Obituary, date: 2015-01-24, by Avon SD
Gary Lee Engel
Gary Lee Engel

Gary Lee Engel, 71, of Mitchell, died Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital ER of an apparent heart attack. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at First Reformed Church, Mitchell, with burial and military rites at Servicemen's Memorial Cemetery, Mitchell. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, with family present, at Will Funeral Chapel, Mitchell.

Gary was born on June 16, 1943, in Avon, S.D., to Clark and Rosalind (Berndt) Engel. He graduated from Avon High School in 1961. He married Marge Thaler on Dec. 28, 1963, in Avon. He was stationed in the Philippines and Turkey in the U.S. Air Force from 1961 to 1965. He worked for a year as a carpet layer for Reynolds Furniture in Mitchell.

In 1970, Gary graduated from the University of South Dakota/Springfield. He worked at Mitchell Technical Institute as an accounting instructor and financial aid director from 1970 to 1980. In 1980, he worked in a Mitchell accounting business until 1982, when he began teaching business and accounting classes at Mitchell High School. He retired in 2002. He then served as a substitute teacher at MHS.

Gary and Marge traveled around the United States and overseas to see friends and relatives. He took on carpet-laying and car-detailing jobs during the summer while he was teaching full time. Gary rarely missed going to coffee and liked to work on jigsaw puzzles. He enjoyed following the Cleveland Indians and Browns, and NASCAR racing, especially Dale Earnhardt. He took pride in the success of his students and in the MHS Future Business Leaders of America chapter. Gary had a strong faith in God and was devoted to Marge and his family.

He is survived by his wife, Marge, of Mitchell; one daughter, Angie (Nathan) Putnam, of Mitchell; one son, Scott (girlfriend Rosemary Lepiane) Engel, of Syracuse, N.Y.; two grandchildren: Matthew and Kaitlyn Putnam, both of Mitchell; a brother- and sister-in-law, Mel and Loo Thaler, of Sioux Falls/Florida; a sister-in-law, Bev Thaler, South San Francisco, Calif.; along with aunts, uncles, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws, Frank and Sunshyne Thaler; and a brother-in-law, Nick Thaler.

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