Mark D. Engle
Age 73, of Navarre, passed away unexpectedly on June 11, 2020.
He was born in Canton on August 11, 1946, the last of six children of the late Marling and Gladys (Schandel) Engle. He is survived by his life partner of 43 years, Linda Zaleski, and eight children, Alison Hoffa (Gary Kovach), Bret (Teresa) Hoffa, Kristine (Sean) Thompson, Tamara (Tim) Lane, Mark Engle (Tasha Lee), Gabe (Robyn) Hoffa, Theresa Engle and his youngest son and best friend, Matthew (Michelle) Engle. He is also survived by seventeen grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, one brother, Marling (Tony) Engle, and one sister, Annabelle (Posie) Weber.
Mark graduated from Central Catholic High School and soon after entered the machinist apprenticeship at the Timken Company, where he worked for the next 39 years, retiring in 2004. In 1977, a chance meeting with Linda after a dirt bike ride led to a whirlwind romance and a marriage six weeks later, creating a merged family of 8 children ages 3 – 12, a real-live “Eight is Enough.” That was the beginning of a special lifelong relationship between Mark and Linda, one of sharing family, experiences, interests, thoughts, dreams and love.
Mark never did anything in a small way, whether it was family, friends, hobbies, or projects, he went the max. His love for motorcycles, particularly dirt bikes, started as a teenager, and continued uninterrupted. He raced (hare scrambles), he rode, and later watched, an avid fan of motocross. Bicycling replaced dirt bike riding after a knee replacement in 1980. The Stark County Bicycle Club was the catalyst for close friendships, and thousands of miles on his single bike, on the tandem with Linda, on his touring bike for the many self-contained tours across the country they did together, and most recently, on his trail bike.
Along the way, he discovered benchrest shooting. He joined the Chippewa Rifle Club and added a circle of good friends who shared his passion for precision and accuracy. He developed into a highly skilled shooter, and enjoyed participating in matches, as well as the days at the range with his buddies. As his interest in firearms increased, he added varmint hunting to his repertoire of skills. Groundhog hunting was a frequent activity, and local farmers looked to him to keep their fields clear of varmints. Mark was groundhog hunting when his life on this earthly planet ended, collapsing after his final two shots.
Mark was the epitome of the all around fix-it guy. He was a skilled mechanic and builder. There was seldom a job he couldn’t do. He was fanatic about maintenance, extremely organized (sometimes considered anal), impatient, and kept precise records of everything he did. In recent years, he gained a real appreciation for technology, and would tell you that there was nothing you couldn’t find through Google or YouTube. He was a true Amazon junkie, and was happy if a package arrived almost daily. He was the opposite of a hoarder. He regularly “cleaned house,” and gave things away that he no long used. The family joke was that if you sat in the same chair for longer than a few minutes, he might throw you out!
Last year, Mark decided to drop some weight and improve his fitness. He said that his dieting was unsuccessful until he discovered his “miracle food,” – steamed broccoli. He swore that after he added it to his daily supper, he was able to drop 25 pounds!
Mark had a quick wit and a truly generous spirit. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for you, and do it well. His contributions to family were often quiet and unannounced. He would show up at your door with tools and supplies for some project that he knew you needed, and sometimes after multiple trips to the hardware and a few choice words, your job would be complete. It was his silent language of love. He leaves behind many hearts broken with sadness, and memories to cherish forever.
A memorial gathering in celebration of Mark’s life will be held outdoors, under tent, on Thursday, June 18 from 5 – 8 pm at 8200 Dueber Ave SW, East Sparta. Memorial donations may be made to Community Hospice, 716 Commercial Ave SW, New Philadelphia OH 44663 (www.myhospice.org/donate).
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