Howard J. Engstrom, 95, Woodstock, died at home Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015, surrounded by his family.
He was born Dec. 27, 1920, in Chicago to Swedish immigrants who resettled with their three sons on a farm near Ashland, Wis., in 1929.
After graduating from high school, he studied music, toolmaking and mechanical engineering. Most of his working years were spent in public relations, marketing, consulting and management. In his later years of employment, he was a fundraiser for Family Alliance and Hearthstone Communities (formerly Woodstock Christian Care).
Volunteering was one of his passions. He served on several community and religious boards after retirement and, in his later years, tutored in an adult literacy program and served with Habitat for Humanity and Faith in Action. He often said that he wanted to be remembered for putting his faith in Jesus Christ into action by helping others.
He enlisted in the U.S. Air Corps and left for Europe in 1942. Upon his return, in 1945, he married Marian Engstrom in Rapid City, S.D., where they had met when he was in military training.
They shared 68 years together and made a great team in their catering and antique businesses. He joined the VFW, serving as chaplain for a term.
Sports and travel were significant parts of his life. Beyond being athletic in his youth, he was an avid participant in local Senior Olympic competitions. Up to age 90 he worked out regularly at a local health club. He and his wife loved to travel.
They visited all 50 states as well as countries in Europe and Latin America, touring the sights and visiting family.
Survivors include two daughters, Janice (Jonathan) Cornforth, Kirkland, Wash., and Sherry (Ken) Somerville, Lake Geneva, Wis.; a daughter-in-law, Alma Huete, Crystal Lake; and five grandchildren, Lauren, Anthony, Aaron, Luke and Tabitha.
He was preceded in death by his wife; and a son, Mark.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Crystal Lake Evangelical Free Church, 575 E. Crystal Lake Ave., Crystal Lake.
Memorials can be made to JourneyCare Hospice Center, Barrington; or to the Crystal Lake Evangelical Free Church Benevolence Fund.