Barbara Ann Engel

Barbara Ann Engel

January 24, 1963 – May 9, 2024

Barbara Ann “Charlie” (Zabreznik) Engel passed away late on May 9th, 2024, with her husband, John, by her side. Barbara was born in Tonasket, Washington on January 24th, 1963 to Clyde and Myrna Zabreznik. She grew up in Wenatchee, Washington, later moving to Delta, Colorado where she graduated from Delta High School. Barbara attended the University of Colorado- Boulder, where she studied Marketing. Barbara was a buyer throughout her career, advancing into regional management positions. She began with Joslin’s Department Store in Denver, moving on to Broadway Department Store in Phoenix and then Los Angeles, and later moving to American Home Furnishings and then to Macy’s Department Store in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Barbara and her husband John met when they were serving as maid of honor and best man at the wedding of their close friends. After a whirlwind romance they were married on April 29, 2000, at St. John’s Church – Shell Creek in rural Nebraska, near Columbus. They lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico for a short time, later moving to Omaha, Nebraska where they lived for 20 years and raised their two wonderful daughters, Kaitlyn and Emily.

Barbara loved being a mom, and raising their daughters was the most important and rewarding thing in her life. She was all-in, whether this was making an elaborate costume for a school presentation, making a life-size Tardis door, or filling the bedroom with balloons during the night for a surprise on birthday morning. She was an amazing mother, and the girls meant the world to her. Every day was a new and exciting adventure for them. One of their favorite things was grabbing a treat and going to garage sales and thrift stores to find new treasures that filled the following days with evaluating their finds, playing, and making collections.

She was always the funniest person in the room. She could make every story better and didn’t let the facts get in the way of telling a hilarious story. Barbara had a magnetic personality. Strangers were never strangers for long–she made friends everywhere she went. She talked to everyone and made the day brighter and more fun for anyone she talked to.

Barbara loved watching science fiction, starting with the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits when she was young, then later sharing every episode of the X Files and Supernatural with her daughters. She and John had an ongoing football rivalry, with Barbara rooting for the CU Buffaloes and John rooting for the Huskers. The stakes were high–the winner got to hang their team’s flag outside the house for all to see.

Barbara remained kind, positive, and incredibly funny throughout her long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. She leaves behind her husband John, daughters Kaitlyn and Emily, parents Clyde and Myrna, sisters Debbie (Debra) and Mindy (Melinda), many extended family members, and those who became family through marriage – all who will greatly miss her.

In lieu of flowers, memorials will be directed by the family towards Parkinson’s disease research.

VISITATION: Friday, May 17, 2024, from 5 – 7 p.m., West Center Chapel, 7805 W. Center Road, Omaha

 FUNERAL SERVICE: Saturday, May 18th, 2024, at 10:00 a.m., St. Andrews Methodist Church, 15050 West Maple Road, Omaha

To view a live Broadcast  of the Service, please visit and click the “LiveCast” button at the top of the homepage.



1 Condolence

  • Mary Gethins Posted May 15, 2024 5:03 pm

    I’m so sorry.about your mom’s passing.All the stories of her you would talk about made it seem as if I knew her.She seemed like the coolest lady.

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