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William J. EngelhartSeptember 14, 1929 ~ May 26, 2017 (age 87)
Funeral service for longtime Aberdeen resident, William J. Engelhart, 87 will be 11:00am Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at the First Baptist Church of Aberdeen. Burial will follow at Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery with Military rites by the Sidney L. Smith American Legion Post #24 of Aberdeen. Pastor Gary Compton and Bill’s son Rev. Scott Engelhart will be officiating. Visitation will be 5-7pm Monday, May 29, 2017 at the mortuary and one hour prior to the service at the church, Tuesday.
Bill died Friday, May 26, 2017 at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital.
William John Engelhart was born September 14, 1929 to William and Barbara (Lacher) Engelhart in Venturia, ND. He attended country school with his sister and many aunts and uncles. The family moved to Aberdeen where Bill graduated from Aberdeen Central High School in 1947. Bill married Joyce Anne Henschel September 23, 1950 in Aberdeen.
Bill joined the Air Force in 1951 during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed in Wichita Falls, TX for the duration of his military service. He was an airplane mechanic and earned the rank of Staff Sergeant before his honorable discharge in 1955. He moved with his wife and son Mark back to Aberdeen where he began his career with International Harvester. He continued working with International Harvester and then Aberdeen Equipment as a salesman until his retirement in 2009. His job was not a job for him – he got to spend time with his friends every day. He earned many awards during his career including North American Salesman of the Year. Those awards didn’t mean anything to the humble man that he was.
His loves in life were his job, family and church. He was the patriarch of his family, not just with his children but also his siblings. His children, grandchildren and great grandsons were the love and joy of his life. He loved having his grandkids around and could be found many days at Storybook Land riding the train. He spent many hours at his church, greeting each person as they came through the door, giving hugs and hand shakes to everyone.
He was a strong-willed man and it was that will that helped him get through the last few years as he took care of his beloved wife Joyce as her health diminished with Alzheimer’s. He recently moved to Groton to be closer to her in the nursing home. He could be found sitting in the chair next to his wife holding her hand.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife Joyce of 66 years, his children Mark (Holly) Engelhart, Aberdeen, Scott (Pam) Engelhart, Lander, WY, LeeAnne (Greg) Kulesa, Watertown, Brad Engelhart, Aberdeen, and Becky (Kim) Dockter, Sioux Falls; 10 grandchildren, Megan (Christopher) Theiling, Shawnee, KS, Aarin (John) Nolte, Richfield, MN, Evan (Krystle) Kulesa, Helena, MT, Alex (Holly) Engelhart, Lander, WY, Michelle (Shane Anderson) Engelhart, Sioux Falls, Jeremy (Chelsea Spring) Dockter, Louisville, KY, Jordan (Taylor) Dockter, Garden City, KS, Isaac Lien, Aberdeen, Haven Kulesa, Watertown and Peyton, Kulesa, Watertown; 2 great grandsons, David Nolte, Richfield, MN and Henry Theiling, Shawnee, KS; 1 great grandchild Baby Theiling due October 2017; sisters, Laura Kelley, Aberdeen and Marie (Craig) Wayne, Valencia, CA; brothers, Paul (Belinda) Engelhart, Watertown, Kenneth (Bonnie) Engelhart, Aberdeen and Jerry Engelhart, Thousand Oaks, CA and many nieces and nephews.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his mother-in-law, Vierl Dresselhuys, brothers Thomas and Timothy Engelhart, sister Caroline Orr and his grandson Nathan Engelhart.
Family prefers memorials to Nathan Engelhart Scholarship Fund to benefit Aberdeen Christian School.