A giant of a man has left our planet


My Dad died. I have no idea what I am going to do.  Breathing is hard.  Our relationship was complicated.  I am thankful we left on good terms. He knew I loved him fiercely and I knew he loved me.

I hope that was enough.  Rest in peace Dad, God knows you deserve it.

Chuck Engel Dad

Charles “Chuck” Lee Engel was born in Fargo, North Dakota on August 24th, 1936 to his mother, Leone I. McCrady (née Engel). Chuck passed away after a brief illness on January 20th, 2016 at 6:08 AM, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, Washington at the age of 79.

As a young child Chuck spent much of his time in Fargo, North Dakota and Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and later moved to the Pacific Northwest with his mother, where he was raised in Tacoma, Washington.

In August of 1956, he met the love of his life Diane E. Kemp. On April 18th, 1958 they married in Seattle, Washington, settling in Belfair, Washington where they started their family. Always good with his hands, Chuck’s first job was working for Red’s Electric winding motors and began an apprenticeship as an electrician.

In September of 1959 Chuck was drafted into the United States Army and served our country for six years as a Telecommunications Technician with a tour overseas serving at USAG Baumholder Army base in Baumholder, Germany. After receiving an honorable discharge in September, 1965, Chuck returned to work at Red’s Electric until 1967.

Chuck’s career for the rest of his professional life revolved around fresh water irrigation systems, fresh water pumps, and the waste water industry. He was the regional manager of the West Coast Division of Hydromatic Pumps for several years in California and then later returned to his home state of Washington where he traveled extensively to Alaska, managing and administrating waste water treatment plants all throughout the state.

After nearly three decades selling, installing, and administrating fresh water and municipal waste water treatment plants, Chuck served as the Superintendent of Waste Water for Kitsap County until 1994, and then went to work for Familian Northwest, retiring in 1998.

He and his wife Diane lived on the banks of Lake Devereaux for 27 years before relocating to Kent, Washington in 2005.

Chuck enjoyed, photography, fishing, hunting, gardening, traveling and oh my goodness, he was an amazing cook. An avid reader, his interests revolved around historical novels and World War II topics. Chuck did a lot of volunteering for Senior Services of King County, driving senior citizens to and from various appointments, and could be found exercising regularly at the Senior Center and with his “Easy Breathing” group for patients with various kinds of breathing issues.

The center of his life revolved around Diane, his wife of 57 years. His children and his wife loved him fiercely, and fondly referred to him as “The Lion” of their family.

Chuck is survived by his daughter Marna Gatlin, and her husband, Manny Gatlin of Warren, Oregon; daughter, Lisa Carr, and her husband David Carr of Kent, Washington, and son, Cristifer Engel, and his wife Verlynna Engel of Wenatchee, Washington; three grandchildren, grandson, Joshua, granddaughter, Ashley, and grandson, Nicholas; and one great granddaughter Abigail. Cousins, Robert “Bob” Baker, his wife Vonnie, of Fergus Falls, Minnesota and Mary Jo Kilde, of Battle Lake, Minnesota.

His mother, Leone, preceded him in death in 1970, his very special Aunt, Inez Baker 1981, and cousins Helen Lund, 2000, and Jean Ann Bassett 2011.
Per Chuck’s wishes there will be no funeral services.

Last but not least Chuck leaves behind his beloved Bombay cat, friend and companion “Thomas” of the family home.
A giant of a man has left our planet. He is loved so very much, and we will miss him every single day.