John Engelbert was always helping others, whether they were friends or strangers, said his son, Pete Engelbert.
“He had money in his hand to give someone before they could even ask for it,” he said. “He was not a wealthy man in terms of money. He counted his wealth in friends made, and the number of people he could meet and help.”
John “Big John” Engelbert, 75, of Highland, died Sept. 27. He worked 40 years for Main Sporting Goods. He was a member of Our Lady of Grace Church and a former member of the Moose Lodge.
He was preceded in death by Paula Engelbert, his wife of 42 years.
He was raised a Quaker, and became Catholic when the couple married.
“His church was second only to his kids,” Pete Engelbert said.
He was devoted to his kids’ activities, and since both were involved in band, he volunteered to move equipment and go along on trips, Pete Engelbert said. He enjoyed it so much, he continued for several years after his children graduated from high school.
He splurged at Christmas, Easter and birthdays, he said.
“We weren’t wealthy, but we had huge, elaborate Christmases,” he said. “He always provided for us, absolutely.”
Pete Engelbert said his father always told him to be true to himself, and to pursue things that interested him.
“I didn’t realize the wisdom of that until much later. He was always supportive of whatever I wanted to do,” he said. “He accepted you for whatever you were, and then would help you with that.”