Evelyn Mary Engel
June 30, 1931– May 24, 2020
Deeply cherished by her family, Evelyn Mary Engel (nee Neale) passed into the presence of her Lord and Saviour on May 24, 2020 in her 89th year. Dearly beloved wife of 70 years to Robert Engel. Loving mother of Dianne Jackson (Robert), Linda Hoffman (Bruce), Keith Engel (Stephanie), and Teresa Cristofanilli (John). Proud grandmother of Shelley Vanstone (Rick), Cheryl McMillan (Jeff), Christopher Jackson (Vanessa), Lisa Galbraith (Jody), Sheena Guy (John), Stephanie Wawrzynczak (Filip), Jennifer Engel (Tim), Jessica Stewart (Chris), Travis Engel (Janine), and Quinton Steward (Daniele). Treasured by her 17 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Fondly remembered by in-laws Muriel Moss and Doug Engel (Marie). Predeceased by her stillborn daughter Patricia, parents Arthur and Violet Neale (nee Kennedy), brothers Victor and George Neale, sisters Ethel Salm, Ida Middleton, and Rosa Neale, and brother-in-law Terry Moss.
Evelyn was born in Chesley, Ontario, the youngest of the family with 2 brothers and 3 sisters. With two hardworking parents, and growing up in a rural agricultural community, this would instill in Evelyn the traits that would define her life: a strong sense of family, community, and faith. She attended school in Chesley, and loved to skate on the meandering Northern Saugeen River in town. While the boys played hockey, they could always hear Evelyn approaching as the bells on her skates jingled. At the age of 16, she met the love of her life at a dance at the Owen Sound City Hall. She and Robert would marry two years later. They began their own dairy operation near Desboro and Evelyn loved her life on the farm, where Robert's dad also lived with them for 18 years. Sadly, their first child named Patricia was stillborn, but they would be blessed with Dianne, Linda, Keith, and Teresa who followed in the years thereafter. She loved to garden and the endless vegetables, roses, primrose, clematis, iris, black-eyed susan, dahlia, and geraniums would thrive in her care. It was only natural that this would lead to her lifelong involvement in the Desboro Agricultural Society and Fall Fair. She made baked goods to enter and sponsored prizes for the winners. Even as recently as this past year, she attended the fair in her wheelchair and looked at every exhibit. Evelyn was also active with local womens groups sewing,wall-papering, and card playing. Holidays and special events were always celebrated. Canada Day meant acting in a community play followed by the strawberry supper at the arena. Christmas meant Christmas pudding, lots of shopping trips to Owen Sound and presents under the tree for the kids. Even the dogs would get treats from the local feed mill! But one of her favourites was Halloween; she loved getting herself and the whole family dressed up. The neighbourhood kids loved to come to the decorated Engel house. Robert appreciated her stern, determined, headstrong, yet giving way of ruling the house! He would always say “You are my sunshine”. They continued to enjoy dancing, and Robert would frequently say “mom, let's go to the Rainbow Room!” Spending time with family was of utmost importance to her and she cherished her role as mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and adored them all. Many folks will recall that she worked at Country Lane Nursing Home. This second career began as she went to Georgian College at the age of 50, to get her PSW diploma. Her children still laugh as they could see her applying her lipstick in the car as she rushed out the laneway. During quiet times at home, TV programs she enjoyed watching included Dallas, Murder She Wrote, and The Fresh Prince of Belaire. An upcoming episode of The Nature of Things on CBC will feature Evelyn's memories of ice skating outdoors as a study of climate change. The family will have many treasured memories of her. The community has lost one its most beloved supporters, and Robert his sunshine.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Garafraxa Hill Funeral Home, Chatsworth. A private family service will be held at Funeral Home chapel, with Pastor Michael Henkel officiating. Interment to follow at Desboro Cemetery. If desired, donations to Chapman House, Chatsworth Community Hub, or the charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family. The family wish to thank Dr. Hodgson, Dr. Barfoot, the Palliative Care Team, Dr. Evoy, Dr. Aboo and the dedicated staff at Kelso Pines. Online condolences may be expressed at