2 Corinthians 5:6-8
“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
Marshall L. Engle went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, July 27, 2018. Those who knew him well would definitely say he never uttered a concern about where his journey would take him when his earthly body failed.
Born in Kooskia, Idaho to Howard and Frances (Pursley) Engle on March 25, 1940, Marshall grew up among eight siblings who were all raised in the beautiful Clearwater Valley.
Years later, an auspicious encounter with a cute auburn haired young lady proved to be the beginning of a series of adventures that would span 58 years. On May 14, 1960, Marshall took the hand of Sharilee Sears to be his wife and lifelong partner.
The couple went on to have four children: Randy (Shelly), Jeff (Daile), Laura (Jamie), and Janene (Rob), and five grandchildren: Mishayla and Alicia Carroll, Dorothy Bungart, Rhiannan (Mike) Zak, Emilee (Andrew) Vidovich, and Wyatt (Emma) Engle.
While Marshall always had a fairly solid idea of who the Lord is and how believing in God factored in to the bigger picture, it wasn’t until he attended a Lowell Lundstrom meeting/concert on Sept. 18, 1974 that he really did an about face spiritually.
With a song in his soul and a guitar in his hands, Marshall dedicated his talent to the Lord and set about delivering God’s powerful message to whoever would listen to some treasured hymns and inspiring choruses.
Sharing his testimony in various churches scattered across Idaho, Washington, and Montana, Marshall taught his children to play guitars and drums when they were in grade school, forming a small band. The “Engle Family Gospel Singers” acquired a large school bus to accommodate a humble ministry that continued for several years.
“Dad wore many hats when I was growing up,” said his youngest daughter Janene. “He wore a hard hat, a motorcycle helmet, a favorite ball cap while driving across the states, and of course his husband and father hat. But first and foremost, Dad wore his ministry hat.”
Perhaps one of his greatest opportunities to do what he loved best took place during the years he drove long-haul truck. “Dad loved people. He rarely ever missed an occasion to just sit and listen to someone who needed to talk,” said Janene.
His approach to sharing the Gospel of Christ was unconventional and yet very effective. Instead of telling people all about the love of Jesus, he listened to their heart, and instead of giving advice for their struggles, he just offered to pray with them. Sometimes that’s all a person really needs is a caring ear and a thoughtful prayer.
Marshall always felt the best way to recharge your internal battery was to head to the woods for some rest and relaxation which included morning coffee with his wife and a crackling campfire…and of course a cool evening swim in the river. The icing on the cake was finding that fishing hole that delivered a tasty trout to fry up with breakfast taters.
As the years of hard work eventually caught up with him and physical constraints made it difficult to continue to minister to whomever crossed his path, Marshall still took advantage of every chance encounter whether that was at the local grocery store or waiting to get his tires rotated.
It was always his heart’s desire to help people understand that the well-known scripture “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16),” wasn’t just mere words on a page, it is the key to everything.
Even as the light in his eyes began to dim, and the burden of a failing body took much of his strength, Marshall still left a lasting impression on those who shared his last few hours.
“Daddy wasn’t afraid to leave this earth, he was excited to see what God had in store on the other side of the Jordan River,” added Janene.
A small Celebration of Life in honor of Marshall will be held at a later date.
The family wishes to thank Bob Wilcox of Trenary Funeral Home for handling all of the final arrangements so nicely.