John Engen
John Engen

Obituary of John Klaboe Engen

Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather John K. Engen was born in Fargo, North Dakota to John and Tina Engen, and moved with his family to Glen Ullin, North Dakota where he grew up. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the US Navy on Nov. 28, 1939, and served as Radioman First Class aboard the USS Argonne, USS Rigel, USS Tennessee, and was one of only 32 survivors rescued from the USS Oklahoma, after the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941. John served another four years of active duty and received an honorable discharge at the end of WWII in 1945. He then served in the reserves and re-enlisted April 1951 for active duty during the Korean Conflict. He was honorably discharged on June 5, 1952 after serving a total of 11 years, 9 months in the Navy. It was during John's Navy years that he met his future wife, also a Navy Radioman, Muriel K. Mueller, while stationed at Bainbridge Island. They married on March 24, 1946 and lived in Fargo, ND where John attended North Dakota State University, then known as the North Dakota Agricultural College. After receiving his baccalaureate degree in Electrical Engineering in 1949, he went on to receive a Masters degree in EE at the University of Illinois in 1950. He worked as an aerospace safety engineer for the Boeing Company for 37 years, retiring in 1990. While with Boeing, John and his family lived in Washington, Florida, Alabama, and Virginia. He and Muriel have lived in Lakewood, Washington since 1969. Throughout his life, John had a love of music that started with playing trombone in his high school band. It continued throughout his years in the Navy as a member of the Navy band and evolved into directing church choirs for many years. After retiring, he devoted more than 15 years as an active volunteer for AARP as a driver safety instructor and as a tax aide. Together, John and Muriel enjoyed camping, hiking, traveling, and being with family and friends. John is survived by his wife of 60 years, Muriel Engen, of Lakewood, WA; three daughters: Susan Scott of Aberdeen, WA; Nancy Engen (Cordell Hauglie) of Edmonds, WA; Cheryle Hendrickson (Mark) of Nine Mile Falls, WA; and one son: John S. Engen (Lisa Spahr) of Tempe AZ; five grandchildren: Lisa Ferazza (Joe) of University Place, WA; Tracy Hendrickson of Spokane, WA; Amy Hendrickson of Seattle, WA; Jason Hauglie of Clarksville, TN; Jamie Hauglie of Edmonds, WA; and two great grandchildren: Sophia Ferazza of University Place and Alexa Visger of Spokane. Gifts in lieu of flowers and memorials should be sent to Franciscan Hospice, Franciscan Foundation, PO Box 1502, Tacoma, WA 98401-1502 Arrangements by Edwards Memorial Center 253-566-1008
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Engen, please visit Tribute Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for John
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Edwards Memorial | University Place
Share Your Memory of