Father Richard Engels died Sunday evening, October 28, 2018, at St. Elizabeth’s Health Care Center in Wabasha, MN. Father Engels was born December 10, 1934, in Marshall, MN, the youngest son of Joseph and Margaret Engels four sons: Daniel, Patrick, Bernard, and Richard. He grew up in Rochester where he attended St. John’s Elementary and Lourdes High School followed by seminary at St. Mary’s College in Winona.
Father Engels’ graduate work was a St. John’s University in Collegeville prior to ordination as a priest for the Diocese of Winona. Further graduate work was done at the University of Minnesota and other colleges. Father Engels pursued additional graduate studies at Catholic University in the mid 1960’s.
After his ordination in 1960 at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, Father Engels was assigned to St. Theodore parish in Albert Lea. After three years he was transferred to St. Mary’s in Winona with Bishop George Speltz while teaching at Cotter High School. The mid-1960’s brought Father Engels to St. Felix in Wabasha. Next, he became superintendent of Marian-St. Mary’s Grade and High School in Owatonna as well as pastor in Claremont. The 1970’s included being principal for five years at Pacelli High School in Austin as well as pastor at Queen of Peace parish in Lyle, followed by becoming pastor of St. Augustine in Austin for five years. The next step was an assignment as pastor of St. Mary’s of the Lake in Lake City where his sailboat on Lake Pepin brought much joy amid his many friends. The next six years as pastor of St. Bernard’s in Stewartville were followed by six years covering two parishes: Sts. Peter and Paul in Mazeppa and St. Patrick’s in West Albany. Father Engels retired at his home along the river in Wabasha in the year 2000.
During his 50 years of active ministry, he also served on the Priest’s Senate of the Diocese of Winona, as well as in an elected position on the Diocesan Presbytery Council and the Bureau of Priests’ Retirement. Interests and hobbies had been flying, sailing, golf, walking, fishing, music, art, architecture, and friends of many years. Father Engels spent his last years in the loving care of the staff at St. Elizabeth’s Health Care Center in Wabasha. He enjoyed visits from family members, from friends in the area and the extra daily connections provided by David Meyer.
Father Engels is survived by sister-in-law, Mary Eileen Engels, seven nieces, Kim Williams, Bernadette Winquest, Paula Millar, Patti Wendel, Theresa Connealy, Kathy Pelto, and Mary Engels and four nephews, Edward, Daniel, Joseph, and Richard Engels. He was preceded in death by his parents and his three brothers.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Monday, November 5, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. at the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, in Rochester. Officiating will be Most Reverend John M. Quinn, Bishop of Winona-Rochester and the priests of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Rochester. Visitation will be from 4-6pm with a prayer service at 5:30pm Sunday, November 4, 2018 at Abbott Funeral Home in Wabasha. Further visitation will be one hour before the Mass at the church on Monday. Memorials are preferred to St. Felix School in Wabasha, 130 3rd St. E., Wabasha, MN 55981. The Abbott Funeral Home of Wabasha is in charge of arrangements. www.abbottfh.com