Arne Oren Kenneth Engen, 92, of Mabel
Wednesday, October 09, 2013 6:28 AM
Arne Oren Kenneth Engen, 92, of Mabel, died Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 at Tweeten Healthcare in Spring Grove.
He was born Dec. 4, 1920, the son of Peter and Celia (Myhre) Engen on the family farm in the Wilmington Township near Caledonia. He was baptized and confirmed at the Wilmington Lutheran Church. He graduated from Caledonia High School in May 1938.
After high school, he had a variety of interesting occupations. He was a Fuller Brush man, helped his uncle service windmills and drove a gasoline delivery truck. He served in the U.S. Army from August of 1942 to December of 1945, spending most of his time in Guadalcanal. When returning from the war, he drove a cement truck for the construction of an ammunition plant in Baraboo, Wis.
He moved to Mabel in 1946 where he met his future wife, Olive Marjorie Hagen, at a fireman's dance at Matter's Ballroom in Decorah. They were married in a double wedding ceremony with Evelyn Narum and Odell Johnson on Aug. 31, 1948. After their marriage, they spent all of their life in Mabel.
He continued to have an interest in a variety of occupations in Mabel. He was a partner in Engen-Wold Lumber Company with his brother-in-law, Glennis Wold. He owned and operated Engen Grocery Store with his wife, who grew up at the Tawney store. He owned a farm north of Mabel. He worked as an independent carpenter, which led to a partnership with Grant Melby to form Melby-Engen Construction Company.
In 1961, he continued his passion for building as the owner of Engen Construction Company, specializing in commercial construction with his wife as the secretary. Later his son, Jeff, joined the business and they worked together until the present, building commercial and residential projects.
He was a member of the Mabel First Lutheran Church, the Mabel VFW, Mabel American Legion, Mabel Business Association for 67 years, and the Masonic Lodge.
He loved to spend time with his family, work, travel and was a devoted Viking fan. He became an avid fitness enthusiast continuing his love of exercise to the end of his life.
He and his wife wintered in Texas for 30 years where they enjoyed the warm weather, golfing and meeting new friends. In his later years, he enjoyed a good meal, feeding the birds, spending time with family, listening to music, reading daily devotions and going for rides to view some of his building projects.
He is survived by his wife, Marge; three children, Jeffrey (Susan) Engen of Spring Grove, Peggy (Craig) Martin of Beaver Dam, Wis., and Wendy (Fred) Hauser of Appleton, Wis.; nine grandchildren, Peter (Grace) Engen of La Crosse, Emily (Dominic) Ricci of Middleton, Wis., Leah (Ben) Koehler of Dubuque, Iowa, Travis Martin of Nashville, Tenn., Tyler Martin of Minneapolis, Bethany Martin of Boiling Springs, N.C., Hilary (Joshua) Dummer of Onalaska, Wis., Jordan Hauser of New York, N.Y., and Jens Hauser of Iowa City; great-grandchildren, Athen Engen Viner, Ivy and Maya Engen, Fletcher Ricci, Dexter Koehler and Isabela Waters; brother, Stanley (Eleanor) Engen; a sister-law, Betty Engen; a brother-in-law, Everett (Doris) Hagen, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters, Sigrid Wold and Arleine Tollefsrud and a brother, Pierce Engen.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Mabel First Lutheran Church in Mabel. Burial was in the Mabel Lutheran Cemetery with military honors by the Mabel American Legion.
Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel was in charge of the arrangements.