The Richmond Register


March 8, 2013

Dr. Fred Allen Engle Jr., 83

EKU professor and Register columnist

RICHMOND — Dr. Fred Allen Engle Jr., 83, of Richmond, died Friday, March 8, 2013, in the Compassionate Care Center of Richmond.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary, daughter Susan (David) Spoon, son Allen (Elizabeth) Engle, son Bruce, grandchildren Laurie (Phillip) Henderson, Eric (Laura) McCool, Kathryn Engle, Caroline Engle, Bud Engle, five great-granddaughters and many cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Fred A. Engle Sr., and Kathryn Johnson Engle of Richmond.

Dr. Engle was born November 14, 1929, in Louisville. He graduated from Model Laboratory School and Eastern Kentucky University (then State Teachers’ College) before serving three years in the Seventh Army, U.S. Army Occupation Forces in Germany, being honorably discharged as a first lieutenant.

While on furlough in Great Britain, he met Mary Jean Purves in Edinburgh, Scotland. They were married there on May 25, 1953.

After leaving the service, he earned an MBA from the University of Kentucky in 1954. After working for General Electric he taught at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, from 1957-59, before returning to teach commerce and economics at Eastern Kentucky University.

He received his Ed.D. in higher education foundations from the University of Kentucky in 1966. While teaching at Eastern, he served as chair of the University Senate from 1974 to 1975 and was a long-time faculty advisor to the College Republicans and Sigma Tau Pi, the business honorary fraternity. He edited the College of Business publication Business Bylines for over a decade.

Dr. Engle retired from teaching in 1998 after 39 years of service and was voted faculty emeritus status.

Dr. Engle was baptized at First Baptist Church, Richmond, in 1938, ordained as a deacon there in 1962, and selected as a life deacon in 2002. He taught the Lamplighters Men’s Bible Class for 25 years. Long-time class members will remember with fondness the candle-lit Christmas dessert celebrations held at his home for class members and their spouses.

He served on a number of the church’s pastoral search committees as well as being appointed church historian.

His favorite Bible verse was John 11:25: “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

Dr. Engle was a third-degree Mason in the Richmond Lodge. He served on the board of Central Baptist Hospital, Lexington, from 1964-1970, was a member of the Madison County Historical Society and the Madison County Library Board.

Even with his extensive interests and responsibilities, Dr. Engle’s main focus was his family.  He delighted in visiting relatives throughout the United States and the world and enjoyed researching family genealogy. Dr. Engle also loved reading, traveling, sports, conversations, correspondence, and history.

In April 1969, he and Dr. Robert N. Grise began writing “Madison’s Heritage,” a weekly column about local history, for the Richmond Daily Register. Dr. Engle’s granddaughter, Kathryn Engle, published the entire collection of essays online as part of her undergraduate work at Eastern. She also compiled a selection of favorite columns for a book, Madison’s Heritage Rediscovered, published in 2012. 

Dr. Engle’s life will be celebrated on Monday, March 11, at the First Baptist Church at 425 Eastern By Pass at 11 a.m., with burial to follow at the Richmond Cemetery. Visitation will be at Oldham, Roberts and Powell Funeral Home on Sunday, March 10 from 4 to 8 p.m.

He was loved so well and will be missed so much. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made in his memory to any of the following organizations: First Baptist Church Nannie Lee Lackey Mission Fund; the Madison County Public Library; the Madison County Historical Society; Parkinson’s research; or the Compassionate Care Center of Madison County. 

The family is grateful to the staffs of Baptist Health-Richmond and Compassionate Care for their many kindnesses and acts of Christian comfort in his passing. 

Condolences may be expressed at


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