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Arne O.K. Engen


Wed, Oct 9th, 2013
Posted in Mabel Obituaries

Arne O.K. Engen, age 92, of Mabel, MN died Sunday, September 29, 2013 at Tweeten Healthcare in Spring Grove, MN.

Arne was born December 4, 1920, the son of Peter and Celia (Myhre) Engen on the family farm in the Wilmington Township near Caledonia, MN. He was baptized and confirmed at the Wilmington Lutheran Church. He graduated from Caledonia High School in May 1938.

Following high school, he held 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 during WWII from August 1942 to December 1945, spending most of his time in Guadalcanal. After returning home, he drove a cement truck for the construction of an ammunition plant in Baraboo, WI. He moved to Mabel in 1946 where he met his future wife, Olive Majorie Hagen, at a fireman’s dance at Matter’s Ballroom in Decorah, IA. They were married in a double wedding ceremony with Evelyn Narum and Odell Johnson on August 31, 1948. They spent all of their married life in Mabel, MN.

Arne was an inspired businessman and held a variety of occupations in the Mabel area. 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, as well as operating a farm north of Mabel. He worked as an independent carpenter, which lead to a partnership with Grant Melby, later forming the Melby-Engen Construction Company.

In 1961, Arne pursued his passion for building as the owner of Engen Construction Company, specializing in commercial construction. His wife Marge was the secretary. Later, his son Jeff joined the business. Arne and Jeff worked together until the present on both commercial and residential projects.

Arne was a member of the Mabel First Lutheran Church, V.F.W., American Legion, Mabel Business Association (67 years), and the Masonic Lodge. He loved spending time with his family, working, traveling, and was a devoted Vikings fan. Arne was a fitness enthusiast and his love of exercise continued to the end of his life. He and Marge wintered in Texas for 30 years, where they enjoyed warm weather, golfing, and meeting new friends. One of his most memorable experiences was participating in the Honor Flight to the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.. 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 past building projects.

Arne is survived by his wife Marge and their three children: Jeffrey (Susan) Engen of Spring Grove, MN; Peggy (Craig) Martin of Beaver Dam, WI; and Wendy (Fred) Hauser of Appleton, WI; nine grandchildren: Peter (Grace) Engen of La Crosse, WI; Emily (Dominic) Ricci of Middleton, WI; Leah (Ben) Koehler of Dubuque, IA; Travis Martin of Nashville, TN; Tyler Martin of Minneapolis, MN; Bethany Martin of Boiling Springs, NC; Hilary (Joshua) Dummer of Onalaska, WI; Jordan Hauser of New York, NY; and Jens Hauser of Iowa City, IA; six great–grandchildren: Athen Engen Viner, Ivy and Maya Engen, Fletcher Ricci, Dexter Koehler, and Isabela Waters; brother Stanley (Eleanor) Engen; sister-law Betty Engen; brother-in-law Everett (Doris) Hagen, and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Sigrid Wold and Arleine Tollefsrud, and brother Pierce Engen.

Funeral services were on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at Mabel First Lutheran Church in Mabel, MN.

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