Eugene Engel, 71

Eugene Engel, 71, of Winner, SD passed away on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021 at his home south of Winner, SD. 

Funeral services were held on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021 at 11 a.m.  at the United Methodist Church in Winner, SD.  Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery. 

Eugene Frank Engel was born on Feb. 13, 1950 to Benjamin and Gleva (Poler) Engel, in Winner, SD. Gene was the third of four children to this union. He was raised in Ellison Township before moving to Sulfur, Oklahoma during elementary school. After a year, they returned to South Dakota and moved to town in Winner when Gene was in junior high. He graduated from Winner High School in 1968, where he met his high school sweetheart and beautiful bride of 53 years, Debby Kirksey. They were joined in marriage Aug. 11, 1968. To this union, four children were born – Lori, William, Gena and Kasie.

Gene worked numerous jobs in the Winner area including Winner Gas, Prairie Distributors, Grossenburg Implement, Colome Farm Service, Winner School District, and later with his son at the Conservation District. In 1974, he and Debby and the two kids moved to the Kirksey family farm. This is where he spent his spare time farming and tending his herd. Gene had a huge love for animals of all kinds, including indoor pets such as skunks, raccoons, and birds of all feathers. He had a special love for his pigeons and geese, which had a special love for him in return. Anywhere Gene went his geese were sure to follow.  If not, they would quickly come to his call and compete in a friendly foot race with him.  Gene would spend hours in the corral watching and talking to his cows.  He loved his mule, George.

Gene was happiest at home, surrounded by family. He was so proud of his kids and grandchildren and all their accomplishments. Gene loved them all so much. He would constantly say to Debby, “We did good, huh Mom?” You could almost always find him with a pack in his pocket, a grin on his face, and a smart aleck comment up his sleeve. He was known for making everyone feel welcomed, but not without giving them a bit of a hard time at first. There was rarely a dull moment with him around. It didn’t matter if you called him Gene, Dad or Granddad, you easily could call him one-of-a-kind.

He is survived by his wife Debby, and four children Lori (Roger) Kingsbury, William (Jody) Engel, Gena (Josh) Engel, and Kasie (Craig) Sealey, and grandchildren Sarah (Chris) Aid, Kevin Kingsbury, Allie (Jesse) Docken, Chase Kingsbury, Shaydel Engel, Maddison Engel, Taylor (Emily) Sperlich, Molly Sperlich, Kaysen Sealey and Harper Sealey, great grandchildren Owen Aid and Leo Aid, brothers Duane (Amy) Engel, Leon Engel, and sister Beverly Engel. 

Gene was preceded in death by his parents, brother-in-law Marvin Olson, and sister-in-law Sandy Engel. 

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