Elwood “Woody” Louis Engel, age 93 of Howard Lake, died peacefully Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, at St. Mary’s Care Center in Winsted.
His funeral service will take place Saturday, Feb. 2 at 1 p.m. at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, followed by interment in Howard Lake Cemetery.
There will be visitation Friday, Feb. 2 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church, with a prayer service at 7 p.m.; and continuing Saturday, one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements are with Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Cokato and Howard Lake.
A lifelong resident of Howard Lake, Woody was born Oct. 8, 1925, in Woodland Township (Waverly), to Louis and Alma (Schendel) Engel.
He was baptized Nov. 8, 1925, by the Rev. C.G. Seltz at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake; and confirmed in his faith by the same April 10, 1938, with the Bible verse Luke 11:28.
He received the nickname “Woody” in third grade during recess, when the boys at the Dutch Lake Elementary School were debating on his nickname being either “El” or “Woody.” They voted for “Woody,” and the name stuck with him during his entire life, but his mother always said his name was “Elwood.”
Woody graduated from Howard Lake High School in 1943.
He met Marvel Kobow at a dance at Lake Sarah in 1947. They were married a year later, June 12, 1948, and celebrated 70 years of marriage this past June, when Woody sang a song to Marvel that he had written for their 70th anniversary celebration. Their marriage welcomed four children: Mary, Jim, Diane and Sandy.
Over the course of his life, Woody farmed with his parents, drove milk truck, and operated Engel’s Truck Service for over 50 years until retiring in 1994.
Winters were busy selling snowmobiles (Moto-Ski, Sno Pony, and Speedway), along with snow plowing at area businesses, homes, and churches.
Woody served on numerous church boards, and provided the equipment and materials to construct parking facilities at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, and Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church in Garrison.
He enjoyed spending summers at the family cabin on Bay Lake near Garrison, and later being a ‘snowbird’ in Mesa, AZ. At other times, Woody could be found fishing on Mille Lacs, Bay Lake, or Howard Lake.
He loved traveling, visiting, and playing cards with family and friends.
Woody was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Alma Engel; daughters Mary (Engel) Forsythe, and Diane (Engel) Greeley; grandson Daniel Greeley; son-in-law Donald (Butch) Forsythe; brother Vernon Engel; sister Evelyn (Engel/Erickson) Wallentine; nephew Mark Erickson; and brothers-in-law Oliver Erickson and Ron Wikstrom.
He is survived by his wife, Marvel; children, Jim, and Sandy (Ken); sister Jean Wikstrom; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; great nieces; great nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.