December 23, 1945 - May 6, 2018


Stephen Edmund Engels was born on December 23, 1945. He died May 6, 2018, at age 72. Steve was kind, thoughtful, and conscientious. He noticed what had significance and worked to foster it. He was a prayerful man. These prayers took many forms including the search for the right present at Christmas; a heartfelt welcome to visitors; the instigation of good conversation at the dinner table; advice on the direction of a life trend; a funny comment on current events and new inventions; or a nice talk with companions during one of his long walks. He took the time needed for reflection and research on interesting projects and worked to shape his day or a family trip. Personal encounters were seldom casual as he strove to find the positive in a situation or acquaintance.

He loved the Word, whether expressed in fiction, drama, poetry, or Scripture. He and Terry bought Pik A Book store, in downtown Saint Cloud, and operated it for many years. They branched into publishing beginning with his collection A Minnesota Christmas Anthology, and especially including Just Before Christmas, a collection of children’s stories. Most recently, he contributed his time volunteering with the bookstore at the St. Cloud public library. Steve loved world travel, he had a great sense of humor, and always looked forward to fishing with his grandkids. He enjoyed research into a variety of topics, most importantly insights into the New Testament, and original work on the gospel of Mark.

Stephen Edmund Engels was born in Platteville, Wisconsin. His family also lived in South Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, SD, and Interlachen Park in Hopkins, where he spent most of his youth. He graduated from Saint John’s Prep in 1964 and Marquette University four years later.
Steve married Terry Rice in 1967 and began a family. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, and beloved children, Bridget George (Edward), Luke, John (Christine), Clare Miller (John), Stephen (Olga), Nicholas (Melanie), Andrew (Amanda), Paul (Kelli), and Elizabeth (Nolan); his sister Jane Tschida (Paul), and brothers Peter and Robert (Jill). His much-loved parents were Robert and Marjorie Engels. His love of good books, read aloud, is remembered fondly by 14 grandchildren.

Steve died peacefully at home early Sunday morning after a short struggle with prostate cancer. His family surrounded him during his last days thanks to the efforts of the Centracare Hospice Program, for which they are grateful. Thanks is also due to the careful kind treatment he received from the Coborn Cancer Center and the staff of St. Cloud Hospital.

Steve’s Christian beliefs were deep and sure. In our grief at his loss he might ask us to reflect on the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins:

‘And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning at the brown brink eastward springs,
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.’ God’s Grandeur