At the age of 91, Dorothy “Dode” Engel passed away peacefully, with her family present at her McKenna Crossing bedside on Good Friday, March 25, 2016. She was a long time resident of Prior Lake, MN.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 29, from 4-7 pm, at Ballard-Sunder Funeral Homes, Prior Lake and at the Church Chapel one hour prior to the Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, March 30 at 11 am, at St. Michael Catholic Church, Prior Lake. Father Tom Walker will preside. Pall bearers will be Travis Plekkenpol, Tony Engel, Marc Engel, Ricky Engel, Kimberly Kvasnicka, Kayla Ragborg and Kindie Huggenvik. Dode will be laid to rest at St. Michael Catholic Cemetery. Memorials will be distributed in Dode’s memory by the family.
The third of six children, Dorothy Mae was born to William and Anna (Gallagher) Simpkins on October 22, 1924, in Spring Lake Township and raised on the family farm in Prior Lake, MN. At the young age of nine she unfortunately lost her mother. This passing forced Dode to partake in the daily tasks, such as collecting eggs, caring for the home and learning a lifelong talent of cooking and baking. First attending grade school in Prior Lake, she then attended Shakopee High School. Here, Dode was crowned the Homecoming Queen and became a proud graduate.
During her school years, Dode met a young man named Donald Charles Engel. After graduating, he served in the United States Navy. While on leave, Dode and Don were married on March 14, 1944 in San Francisco, CA. They eventually settled down in Prior Lake, where Dode and Don raised four boys, Donald, David, Stephen and Robert.
Dode had a lifelong career being a wife, mother and grandma. For over 25 years, she was also a dedicated employee of Anchor Glass, Shakopee. Working various positions, Dode spent most of her time as an inspector. Upon retiring at 62, Dode took on a second part-time career with North Aire Market running the shipping department. She loved the work, the family oriented company, but especially the great people she worked with side by side. Dode finally retired at the young age of 85.
Family was always most important. Dode treasured the family outings visiting relatives, attending her sons and then grandkids school and sporting activities and most of all just being together. She was a machine when it came to the kitchen. Dode’s skills of being an exceptional cook and baker were enjoyed by all. Cookies were her specialty, with fresh cookies baked and hand delivered for every holiday throughout the year. Dode was extremely proud of her Irish heritage and this was expressed each St. Patrick’s Day with a wonderful Irish meal she prepared. Dode’s talents also included canning vegetables and fruits from the gardens and making her famous jams and jellies. Dode’s life was the most enriched by becoming a grandma and later a great-grandma. She relished the times spent with each one.
On April 11, 1987, Don passed away and Dode’s life was changed forever. But she persevered with her determined and spunky personality. Dode built her dream Irish-themed home and began traveling the world. She took organ, golf and swimming lessons. Dode enjoyed shopping, playing Flume with her card club, completing crossword puzzles and reading books. Her passion for the Minnesota Twins was passed down to her family; she was even fortunate to attend the 1991 World Series. She loved to collect clowns and once again in 2015 wore a crown for the Prior Lake Senior Royalty. Dode has fond memories of her 80th birthday, filled with a weekend full of surprises by her family. They took a limo ride, attended a Minnesota Gopher’s game and concluded with a special meal and great conversations.
Dode will be forever missed and loved by her children, Donald (Rosemary) Engel, David (Stacia) Engel, Stephen (Jane) Engel, Rob (Jane) Engel; grandchildren, Kelly, Brenda, Tony, Marc, Jaci, Kimberly, Kayla, Travis, Emily, Kristie, Korrie, Kindie, Ricky; 27 great-grandchildren; brother, Bill Simpkins; brother-in-law, Ed Wenik; sister-in-law, Pat Simpkins; many other relatives and dear friends.
Preceded in death and there to welcome Dode home are her beloved husband, Don; siblings, Kay Wenik, Marge Jorgenson, Ed Simpkins and Don Simpkins.
Ballard-Sunder Funeral Home and Cremation, Prior Lake Chapel, proudly served and cared for the Engel family. www.ballardsunderfuneral.comPrint Obituary & Condolences