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Mike Engel

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Michael (Mike) Edward Engel, 74, of Freeman, S.D., was received into glory on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 surrounded by his wife of 48 years and their three daughters after a brave battle with lymphoma.

Mike was born on July 22, 1944 to John and Esther (Diede) Engel in Miller, S.D. They lived in rural South Hand County where he attended country school until seventh grade when his family moved to town. Mike then attended grade school and high school in Miller, where he graduated in 1963. 

After graduation, Mike joined the South Dakota Army National Guard and served until 1966 when he volunteered for active duty in the United States Naval Construction Battalion (The Seabees). He served two tours of duty in Vietnam with The Naval Seabee’s and was honorably discharged in 1969. 

Mike worked in construction in Minneapolis, Minn., where he met the love of his life, Loraine (Lori) Faye Hoekman. They were united in marriage June 20, 1970. Mike and Lori lived briefly in Minneapolis; Denver, Colo.; and ultimately settled in Colton, S.D., where they raised their three daughters. 

Mike was skilled in carpentry and masonry, owning and operating Engel Construction until 1976, when he went to work at John Morrell and Co. for 10 years. He had a farrow to finish swine herd for many years. He also worked many years driving semi and, in later years, revived his love for construction by operating his own construction, concrete, and gravel business in Miller from 1996 to 2004, when he “tried” to retire. In 2007, he and Lori moved to Hermosa, S.D. and spent the next seven years managing the Heartland RV Resort. In 2015, when Mike’s health began to fail, Mike and Lori moved to Freeman. 

Mike loved raising pigs, working with horses, and roping with his buddies. He passed his love for animals and particularly horses to his girls and precious grandbabies. Mike also loved to build, remodel, and do wood working projects. He particularly loved making “special” items for his family as gifts. He enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting, playing “pitch” and spending time with his wife, girls and seven grandbabies. His grandbabies were the light of his life! He was witty and loved to joke and tease. His life was hard and he suffered much but he did it with grace and dignity. He loved his country and his flag but most importantly he loved his Lord and was certain of his salvation. 

Grateful and blessed for having shared his life are his wife, Lori Engel, Freeman; his children: Nicole (David) Mehlhaf, Menno, S.D., Chanda Engel, Watertown, S.D., and Erin (Tim) Fauske, Wall, S.D.; and seven grandchildren: Journey, Mesa and Justice Mehlhaf and Gabriel, Owen, Jaiden, and Finley Fauske. Mike is also, survived by his sister Charlotte, Taylor, Miller; his brother, Richard (Julie) Engel, St. Johns, Fla.; and numerous dear brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, cousins and friends. 

He was preceded in death by his parents John and Esther Engel; brothers Donald and Willard Engel; mother- and father-in-law Charles and Alyda Hoekman; sister-in-law Millie Eriksen; brother-in-law Roger Taylor; and two precious grandbabies.