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Jack M. Engel

Jack M. Engel, a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather died peacefully at his home in Mount Laurel, NJ on Sunday, after a fulfilling and love-filled life, surrounded by his loving family. He was 91.

Above all, Jack was a devoted husband and father who loved his family fiercely and deeply, and would do anything for them. He is survived by his wife, Florence Engel, with whom he had a 64-year romance; his children Marla Engel (David Leifer) and Steven Engel (Beverly Engel); his grandchildren Oren Leifer and Zachary (Meredith), Ilana (Joe), and Jory Engel; and his great-granddaughters, Margalit and Yael Engel. With Florence, he often traveled to Florida and Boston to see his beloved children and grandchildren and delighted in hosting them at his home, which one grandson dubbed “the spoiling house,” and in teaching each of his children and grandchildren how to fish, sail, and not be afraid to try to fix or build anything.

Jack felt he had a charmed and full life and was content with the simple pleasures of time with his beloved family and sailing his boat, Euphoria, on Barnegat Bay with family and friends. Jack believed he could learn anything from a book, and he did. He could build or fix anything, and he generously shared his skills and his hands to help friends and to keep things running smoothly at Temple Emanu-El in Willingboro (now Congregation Adath Emanu-El of Mount Laurel), where he and Florence were founding members and active for more than 40 years.

Jack was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1930 and had a varied career. After serving in the Army, he earned an electrical engineering degree from Brooklyn Polytechnic College and became one of the world’s first radar engineers. He was employed by Pan American Airlines at Idlewild (JFK) Airport in New York, from which he flew around the world to fix radar on grounded planes and took advantage of his employee discount to explore the world. He married his beloved Florence in 1957, and moved to Willingboro, NJ to work on radar development and installation, traveling from the Andes Mountains in Peru to the North Pole. Jack became a technical writer and his work included preparing manuals on rockets in the Apollo space program. He later decided to get away from a desk job and started a business selling Snap-on tools to mechanics, putting him back around cars and engines, which he loved to work on. Jack was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout Leader and dozens of young men learned camping, life skills and how to be a mensch from him. Jack was a lifelong amateur radio operator (K2KLM SK) and delighted in speaking to other operators around the world, helping with disaster relief, and the friends he made in the local radio club. Jack was industrious, honest, and generous; he wanted to be remembered as someone who always did his best. And he will be.

Relatives and frineds are invited Monday, January 24, 2022 beginning 2:30 PM to Platt Memorial Chapels, 2001 Haddonfield-Berlin Road, Cherry Hill, NJ where funeral services will begin promptly at 3:00 PM. Details to stream the service are available at Shiva will be observed privately. Contributions in Jack’s memory may be made to Congregation Adath Emanu-El or the charity of the donor’s choice.

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