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John H. Engel

John H. Engel, of Ambler, PA died on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at Abington Hospice at Warminster. He was 94.

He was married to the love of his life, the late Kathleen P. Maguire Engel, for 57 years.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, he was the son of the late John H. and Elizabeth F. McGonigal Engel and dear brother of the late Judith A. Pond.

He is survived by his two daughters, Kathleen Tavolaro and her husband David of Ambler and Maureen Balitsaris and her husband Michael of Wayne.  Papa John was blessed with six grandchildren: Kevin, Riley, Quinn, Beau, Kiera, and Avery and was adored by his extended family of nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

John graduated from Olney High School in 1945 and upon graduation, entered the Navy where he served as a signalman during World War II. After his honorable discharge, he devoted his evenings to the acquisition of impressive educational credentials including a B.S. degree in business administration and insurance from La Salle College and CLU, FLMI, and ChFC certificates. “Mr. Philadelphia Life” spent his entire thirty-seven-year career with the insurance company. His was a classic climb-the-corporate-ladder story. He started as a clerk and retired as a Senior Executive Vice President.

John’s Catholic faith was his core—he was a humble and devout follower of Jesus Christ. John and Kathleen were parishioners at Queen of Peace Church in Ardsley for 53 years before joining St. Alphonsus. Sunday mass was of vital importance and a prerequisite to any other weekend activities for the family.

John was a family man. He shined in his roles as son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather, dog grandfather, friend, neighbor, and caregiver. He was devoted to his family and took pride in providing a safe and comfortable home for his wife and girls. He valued education and delighted in his daughters’ achievements at Ancillae, the Mount, Villanova, and graduate school. He wholeheartedly welcomed his sons-in-law whom he admired as outstanding husbands and great fathers. Being a grandfather gave him immeasurable pleasure and pride, and he enthusiastically celebrated every milestone, sacrament, performance, and sporting event with his grandchildren.

A true gentleman, an impeccable dresser, a passionate Philadelphia sports fan, an avid reader, a lifelong learner, and an empathetic listener aptly describe this special man. He had a quick wit, a genuine heart, and a quiet presence. A few of his favorite things included Jeopardy, Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, Busch’s, Ireland, Villanova basketball, the New Jersey shore, tennis, big band music, movies, ice cream, and Guinness. He loved Eagles football games with Jim, bike rides on the boardwalk, walks along the Wissahickon, trips to the Philadelphia Zoo, and naps in the sun with a dog at his side.

Our dad was ageless and vigilant about his health. His death came out of the blue, and our hearts are heavy. We take great comfort in knowing that John is reunited with his soulmate, greeted by his family and friends who have gone before him, and embraced by his loving God.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his viewing on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 from 10:00 AM until his Funeral Mass 11:00 AM at St. Alphonsus Church, 33 Conwell Ave., Maple Glen, PA 19002.  His interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, W. Conshohocken, PA.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Villanova University in support of scholarships for students with financial need, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085 or https://secure.touchnet.com/C21740_ustores/web/store_cat.jsp?STOREID=4&CATID=26&SINGLESTORE=true.

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Service/Memorial Information
  • Morning Visitation

    Wednesday, December 15th, 2021
    10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

    St. Alphonsus Church
    33 Conwell Drive
    Maple Glen, PA 19002

  • Service

    Wednesday, December 15th, 2021
    11:00 AM

    St. Alphonsus Church
    33 Conwell Drive
    Maple Glen, PA 19002

  • Cemetery

    Wednesday, December 15th, 2021
    12:45 PM

    Calvary Cemetery
    185 Matson Ford Road
    Conshohocken, PA 19428

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