Louie Engel was born on April 16, 1924 in Boridena, Bessarabia, Romania to his parents Alexander and Elizabeth Engel. Louie was five years old in 1929 when the family immigrated to Canada. The family came to the Scapa area, taking work with a German-speaking farmer. They moved to a farm in the Leo district in 1931 and purchased the Coldwell farm, eight miles north of Endiang in 1937.
Louie was the second child of the family. He had four sisters: Pauline (Howard) Bish, Lena (George) Knight, Anna (Ken) Houser, Freda (Henry) Nill and one brother “Sonny” (Erwin).
Louie attended school at Leo and at Ideal Valley, leaving school at age 15 to work on the farm. He learned to work young and he learned to work hard. As a young man, he ran a threshing crew for a number of years; finding winter work driving truck or in the coal mines north of Halkirk.
In February 1952 Louie married Fern Duncan. They lived on the Kobi place for five years, moving in 1957 to Louie’s parent’s farm. Through several difficult years on the farm, they lost their crops to hail and grasshoppers and they lost their home to a fire. In 1964 Louie moved his family to Halkirk where he started working in construction, eventually going into business on his own. He began by doing renovations but was soon building new homes and cabinets, shops and quonsets. Engel Construction worked all over Central Alberta from Eckville to Consort, from Irricana to Fox Creek. In 1989 his sons took over the construction business and Louie kept working with them. He continued to run his beloved backhoe until the age of 80.
Louie had a long, active life and was a man of many interests. Besides all the aspects of carpentry, he learned plumbing and welding. He loved to plant trees. He built a large greenhouse, which was his joy for many years. He planted a Saskatoon orchard in his back yard. Louie enjoyed cooking and barbequing. He liked to read and to watch the Oilers and Gretsky. His favorite times were fishing and boating, curling, camping and snowmobiling. His grandchildren had a special place in his heart. And he loved conversation. Louie was always good for a long chat and enjoyed telling his many stories. In 2006 Fern and Louie sold their Halkirk home and moved to Castor Senior Housing, then Paintearth Lodge, Coronation Assisted Living and eventually Coronation Continuing Care. Fern passed away in July 2014.
Louie passed away on November 21, 2014 at the age of 90 years. He is survived by his four children: Don (Kjerene) Engel, Doris (Dennis) Cordel, Wayne Engel and Dianne Engel; 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren: Jennifer (Colin) Pekrul and their children Emily, Austin and Greyson; Brad (Erica) Engel and their daughter Sloan; Corrine Cordel (Randy Tebbe) and Corrine’s sons Dawson and Blade Bateman; Jason (Frances) Cordel and their children Carlene, Farica and Ferron; Adrian (Cassandra) Cordel and their son Caleb; Rae-anne Cordel (Mark Smith); Nicole Thomson; Dayle Kimmel (Nicolas Renggli); Mackenzie Kimmel (Tyler Hobbs) and their daughter Emree; Madison Kimmel. He is also survived by his sister Lena Knight; brothers-in law Jim Duncan and Harry (Hazel) Duncan; sister-in-law Irene Duncan; as well as many dear nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held at Halkirk Community Hall on December 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM with Rev. Barbara Zimmerman officiating. Several grandchildren presented tributes and memories of Grandpa. Interment took place at 1:00 PM at the Halkirk Cemetery with his grandchildren: Jennifer Pekrul, Rae-anne Cordel, Nicole Thomson, Mackenzie Kimmel and Madison Kimmel as Honorary and Corrine Cordel, Jason Cordel, Brad Engel, Adrian Cordel, Dayle Kimmel and Dawson Bateman as Active Pallbearers, as he was laid to rest beside his loving wife of 62 years Fern. Family and friends gathered for a time of fellowship and refreshments in the hall by the Halkirk Hall Board.
Condolences may be viewed or sent to the family at www.stettlerfuneralhome.com. Memorial donations may be made to Halkirk Cemetery, Paintearth Lodge or Coronation Hospital Foundation – Assisted Living or a charity of your own choice.