Fr. Ernest Engler (1937-2017): Midwest priest who spent part of his retirement serving in Northwest Valley dies at 89

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Fr. Ernest Engler (1927-2017)

Fr. Ernest J. Engler, a retired priest from the Midwest who’d served in Surprise and Sun City West and was known for his inspiring homilies, died Feb. 20. He was 89.

Fr. Engler was born July 14, 1927 and ordained June 2, 1951 for the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa. He spent most of his priesthood in the field of education before retiring to Arizona in 1994, according to his obituary in The Witness, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

He moved to Surprise, where he assisted at St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Surprise and Our Lady of Lourdes and Prince of Peace in Sun City West.

“He was always such a kind, gentle man and even though he was hurting or not feeling well you’d never know it,” said Ginnie Hebert, secretary at St. Clare. “I remember his homilies were impressive.”

He returned to Dubuque in June 2012 because of his health, the obituary said. He had two brothers, both ordained priests. His older brother, Cyril, is deceased, and his younger brother, Clarence, has spent most of his life in Taiwan as a Maryknoll Missionary.

A Memorial Mass was held at Resurrection Church in Dubuque with burial in St. Paul’s Cemetery, Worthington, Iowa.

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