July 22, 1928 - May 15, 2017
Our precious Mom’s generous heart gave out May 15, after she enjoyed her last Mother’s Day weekend. She always said it was “fun to be a little old lady,” and she graciously stayed cheerful, positive, and loving right until the end. She passed away in the home in Ashland where she lived for 58 years.
Lou was born July 22, 1928 in the family farm house in Britton, South Dakota to Martin Monroe and Biddie Faye Landreth. She was the fifth of six children, and enjoyed her childhood with a close, loving family. Farm life was hard, especially during the Great Depression, but it molded her attitudes and work ethic. Lou was educated in a one-room country schoolhouse in Britton, and graduated early from Hecla High School. She earned a teaching degree from South Dakota State, then enjoyed teaching first through eighth grades in another small country school.
On August 25, 1948 (her Mother’s birthday), Lou married Daniel George Engle in Hecla, and they moved to Minneapolis where her new husband began dental school. She worked as a dental assistant, and as a drugstore clerk, as her teaching license was valid only in South Dakota. Dan and Lou’s son Mark was born during Dan’s senior year sharing his Dad’s birthday from then on!
The family moved to Ashland right after graduation, in June 1953 to get far away from the severe Mid-west winters. Julie, Doug, and Jill arrived to join the Engle group, and a new house was built to hold them all. Mom always treasured her views of the mountains, and made sure that everyone looked across at the hills to appreciate the beauty. Lou’s best fun was her family, and she did everything for us! She was well known for her cooking and baking skills, and she could sew anything (even prom and bridesmaids’ dresses.) She sewed hundreds of nighties, pajamas, costumes, and school clothes, and baked literally thousands of cookies. She was a school room mother, Cub Scout den mother, sports fan, chauffeur, dental auxiliary member, and supported our schools and community. Most important to us, she was always available for her family and friends; we knew Mom would be there when we got home from school and activities.
When her kids were grown, Mom worked in the financial aid department at SOSC (now SOU). Many times she provided personal loans to students who “just couldn’t wait” until their school loan money came through. She retired in 1995.
For many years Mom begged to be a Grandma, and was gradually rewarded with nine grandkids. Gramma Lou was easily spotted with her beautiful white hair, driving her 1972 Mustang around Ashland, often being asked by much younger drivers if she would sell the car. (She wouldn’t, until a year ago.) She loved going to Lithia Park for picnics and band concerts. Mom loved all people, especially little kids. She also wore out the path to the duck pond with her many visits with kids in tow. The waiting list for symbolic adoption by Momma Lou was endless!
Mom had a wonderful strong faith that carried her through every situation. She was easily amused, just sitting and watching people do anything. She was the crossword queen, working the puzzles in ink. She also loved music, and there was always something playing in the background at her house. She was a complete giver all of her life, including regular blood donations from her 20s into her early 80s. When she was told recently that her organs were too “well used” to donate, Mom requested that her body be donated to OHSU for medical study.
The very best word to describe our adorable Mom is LOVE. She leaves behind Mark (Pam) Engle of Roseburg, Julie (Ed) Taucher of Central Point, Doug (Lonna) Engle of Talent, and Jill Engle of Ashland. Also surviving Lou are her grandkids, in birth order; Maria (Kevin) Figueroa, Jed (Gita) Taucher, Nicole Engle, Ben Taucher, Talia Engle; Rachel Engle, Daniel Engle, Adrienne Engle, and Sara Engle; .sister-in-law Marge Engle of Eugene; nieces; nephews; great-grands; and many wonderful friends who will also miss Lou.
Lou was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, daughter-in-law, her former husband, and many, many dear friends.
There will be a Celebration of Life Afterglow on Mom’s birthday, July 22, 2017 at Ashland First Presbyterian Church, 1615 Clark Avenue, at 2 p.m. Remembrances may be donated to ACCESS, 3630 Aviation Way, PO Box 4666, Medford, OR 97501. Appreciation to Litwiller Simonsen Funeral Home and to Providence Hospice for their kind help and careful attention.