Leonard P. Engler

Leonard P. Engler

June 1, 1926 – February 6, 2021

Preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Agnes Engler; wife, Doris (Jaax) Engler.  Survived by two children, James Engler (Joan), Michael Engler; 6 grandchildren: Valerie, Matthew, Judy, Regina, Emily, and Seth; 10 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandson; sisters: Margaret Straka, Eileen Schmit (John), Helen Stokely: and brother John  Engler (Dorothy); many nieces and nephews; cousins from the Engler and Simons families.

MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Thursday, Feb.11th at 11am at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Omaha, with Visitation beginning at 10am.  VIGIL SERVICE for family only: Wednesday, Feb. 10th at 7pm.  Interment: St. Boniface Cemetery in Stuart, NE in March.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to College of St. Mary — Doris Jaax Engler and Leonard Engler Endowed Scholarship Fund.

To view live broadcasts of the Vigil Service and Mass, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Service” button on the home page.


Beginning as a farm boy near Stuart, NE, Leonard was a man of the land.  After Army service during WW II, he attended Creighton U., where he met Doris, with whom he spent over 65 happy years of marriage.  After 4 years managing farms near Columbus, he graduated  from NU, studying Ag. Econ.  Working in several government agencies as an appraiser, he participated in a range of projects, from farm land acquisition for Minuteman missile silos in the Dakotas to acquisition of 18th century homes for the Minute Man National Park in Massachusetts.   He always had a garden in the back yard, carefully tended with Doris.

He was also a family man.  He loved family gatherings, long visits, and card games.  He expanded his family of 3, adopting Michael.  He cared well for his children and grandchildren, giving special care when needed.  He was especially proud of their accomplishments.  His home was a respite for many family members visiting Omaha for medical care.

Leonard took “neighbor” seriously.  He helped build community wherever he lived, on farms, in houses, or assisted living homes; in Stuart, Shelby, Columbus, Lincoln, Omaha, and Moorestown, New Jersey.  He was always willing to lend a hand and loved to visit, often including a card game.  He was a regular subscriber to the Omaha Playhouse.  He loved watching Nebraska football, Creighton and Nebraska men’s basketball, and their women’s volleyball teams.

Leonard loved to travel.  U.S. trips, with Doris, and sometimes friends, included Texas, California, Hawaii, and Alaska, not to mention family visits in Montana, Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.  He also traveled abroad, visiting Mexico, Italy, and Israel.  A highlight was a trip to Germany and Oberammergau for the decennial Passion Play.

First, though, was his faith.  Always an active parishioner, he volunteered to count money when living in Blessed Sacrament and Holy Cross parishes.  He was a Eucharistic Minister, visiting patients at hospitals in Omaha.  His dream was being able to easily attend daily Mass in his later years, a wish fulfilled when he moved to Via Christe in Omaha. 


One thing I ask from the Lord,

    this only do I seek:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

     all the days of my life,

to gaze on the beauty of the Lord

    Psalm 27:4…


…The Lord is compassionate and gracious,

     slow to anger, abounding in love

     Psalm 103:8





  • Janice Wayne Posted February 8, 2021 8:44 pm

    It was a great honor to have known such a kind gentleman .Leonard you will be truly miss. Rest in Heavenly Peace
    Mr. Leonard Engler

    • Valerie Engler Zajac Posted February 14, 2021 7:36 pm

      Thank you, Janice, for your kind words and condolences.

  • Fr.. Joe Costantino, S.J. Posted February 9, 2021 3:43 pm

    Know of my prayers for the grace of gentle grieving for all of his loved ones.

    • Valerie Engler Zajac Posted February 14, 2021 7:39 pm

      Thank you, Father Joe. We so appreciate your prayers.

  • Mike and Janel Tagart Posted February 9, 2021 6:23 pm

    We have fond memories of visiting with Leonard, he was a great story teller . He was a kind and gentle sole with a great love of the Lord . We were so honored when he made the trip all the way to Grand Island last year to addend our daughter’s wedding . Sesnding our prayers to his family .

    • Valerie Engler Zajac Posted February 14, 2021 7:40 pm

      Thank you, Mike and Janel, for your condolences. Grandpa was a wonderful storyteller! So glad you could enjoy time with him.

  • Mary Margaret and John Griffin Posted February 10, 2021 8:38 am

    Jim…please know we’re keeping your Dad and you in our hearts .

    • Valerie Engler Zajac Posted February 14, 2021 7:41 pm

      Thank you, Mary Margaret and John, for your condolences.

  • Janette Asher Posted February 10, 2021 11:09 am

    Uncle Leonard, the oldest of grandpa Edwin and grandma Agnes Engler five children. You and Aunt Doris were such special people.You were always so interested in your nieces and nephews always welcoming to your home and how life was treating us. The Engler get-togethers were so much fun. You uncle were a wonderful example of a Christian, good man. We will miss you, until we meet again!

    • Valerie Engler Zajac Posted February 14, 2021 7:42 pm

      Thank you, Janette , for your kind words and remembrances of Grandpa.

  • Diane Proulx Posted February 10, 2021 12:29 pm

    I so enjoyed knowing Leonard and Doris – a College of Saint Mary alumna like myself. Sympathy and prayers to your family – especially to Jim and Joan. Such a great couple!

    • Valerie Engler Zajac Posted February 14, 2021 7:44 pm

      Thank you, Diane. Grandma and valued their relationship with the College of Saint Mary so highly.

  • Ginny and Joe Galeota Posted February 10, 2021 12:42 pm

    It’s easier to understand now the source of good qualities residing in Jim after reading about the same in his Dad. His upbringing by a wonderful Mom and Dad has resulted in Boston’s having a magnificent family here.
    The sense of “neighbor”—as referenced in the obituary— carries over to other generations as the Englers here in Boston are always displaying that trait—whether it’s in the form of ecology or justice or compassion for those less fortunate. And whenever we visit the Minuteman National Park in Lexington and Concord, we”ll be able to brag that we knew a person who helped with its land acquisition. Leonard, you must have been an inspirational human for your son to have travelled dozens and dozens of time, halfway across our continent, to visit you during the past decades—at no small count and no small inconvenience—just to be within your aura of love.

    • Valerie Engler Zajac Posted February 14, 2021 7:47 pm

      What beautiful sentiments for father and son. Thank you for your condolences!

  • Suzanne Ward Posted February 10, 2021 4:25 pm

    Some of my happiest early memories are of visiting the Englers and Stewarts in Omaha when my family was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellview. Doris was the youngest sister of Loretta and Mildred (my mom). Leonard was the uncle that that we all loved to joke with as he helped wrangle all the cousins. He will be missed.

    • Valerie Engler Zajac Posted February 14, 2021 7:49 pm

      Thank you, Suzanne, for your kind words and special memories! I know Grandma’s lpvong relationship with her sisters was so important to Grandpa, too.

  • Ashley Lothrop (Tagart) Posted February 11, 2021 9:00 am

    I had the honor of working for Leonard as a caregiver when I was going through college. I was blessed to get to spend time with him playing cards and praying the rosary. He was always so insightful and had such interesting stories about him and his wife and growing up in small town Nebraska. His phone calls and letters kept us in touch and he and his son came to my wedding last year. It was such a gift to have a wonderful adopted grandfather in my life. He will be greatly missed. I wish I could attend the memorial and give my love in person, but unfortunately, I have to work. Leonard was always so proud that I was going to college to be a nurse. He really motivated me and kept reminding me of why I wanted to help people in the first place. I love you grandpa Leonard. Love Ashley

    • Valerie Engler Zajac Posted February 14, 2021 7:50 pm

      Thank you, Ashley for your condolences and care of Grandpa. I know you brightened his days.

  • The American Legion Family Posted February 19, 2021 6:50 pm

    On behalf of The American Legion Family, we send caring thoughts to the family of Mr. Engler for your sad loss. Leonard is “Gone but Not Forgotten” by this organization of volunteers for Veterans, the Military and their families. Your local post can assist with placing a memorial weekend marker or flag on his grave.

  • Mary Lou Von Euw Posted February 27, 2021 9:15 am

    Strad, Your picture of Leonard. You and each have a beautiful way of helping numerous incredible gifts too so many are and more. David really liked to sit down with him and discuss. I wonder, if David will be waiting.
    Great God of All Mystery
    You are nearer to us than we know,
    Closer than we can imagine.
    If we cannot find you,
    It is because we search in far places
    instead of in our own hearts.

    is not
    the light.
    it is putting our
    the lamp
    the lamp
    the Dawn
    has come.

    The Von Euws are praying for your family.
    God Bless You

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