Cover photo for Lucille Lorraine Engel's Obituary
1931 Lucille 2024

Lucille Lorraine Engel

July 13, 1931 — April 7, 2024


Lucille L. Engel, age 92, surrounded by family, relinquished her grip on this earthly life and was rewarded with the loving embrace of Jesus Christ on April 7, 2024. She has been reunited with her husband Gerald and son David in the warm sanctuary of Heaven.

Our mom was a devout Catholic, and left us on Divine Mercy Sunday, which reflects the devotion attributed to St. Faustina. Lucille certainly exemplified the quality of compassion, as well as a life of commitment, sacrifice, and faith.

Lucille was born on July 13, 1931, in Kaukauna, to Ernest and Antoinette (Giesbers) Modl, the youngest of five children.

Her childhood years on the rural north side of Kaukauna were filled with idyllic days, but also economic hardships that included no indoor plumbing. An early recollection was accompanying her father selling brooms door-to-door, which sometimes meant calling on farms and facing intimidating farm dogs. She often reminisced about hauling milk to the house, long walks to get to school, and playing on Marsh Hill with friends and family. The childhood bonds she forged with her sisters and brother were maintained throughout their lives. The death of her brother Marvin in 1952 from a car/train wreck was a tragic loss for her.

While Lucille enjoyed her married years in Appleton, she always considered herself a Kaukauna “country girl” at heart. Lucille belonged to Holy Cross Parish growing up and graduated from Kaukauna High School in 1949. Following her graduation, Lucille held various jobs including Integrity Mutual in Appleton and Scolding Locks, a favorite of hers. 

In 1955, Lucille met Gerald Engel of Appleton at a Don Bosco dance. The couple was wed on April 21, 1956, celebrating over 66 years of marriage until Jerry’s death on Feb. 3, 2023. It was on State Street in Appleton that Jerry and Lucille carved out their life together, raising a daughter and three sons. Lucille took on the role as Mom and homemaker proudly and determinedly, displaying a mother’s fierce protection and nurturing instincts.

Raising four children all close in age was a challenge Lucille approached with selflessness, always putting the needs of her kids first. Lucille and Jerry valued their Catholic faith and guided their family in that direction with parochial education and weekly mass. Lucille and Jerry were steadfast parishioners of St. Joseph Parish.

Fond memories of life in the Engel household in the 1970’s includes Lucille’s willingness to allow her kids to dabble with a menagerie of pets. At any given time, there could have been ducks, turtles, pigeons, snakes, fish, cats (of course) and many others. Family vacations during these years featured annual treks to Blakley’s Birch Reef Resort in Conover. The family’s affinity for the area culminated with Lucille finding the property that would become known as Engel’s Eden, just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Buckatabon Lakes. The property continues to be in the family today and is a lasting-legacy that continues to harken everyone “Back to Buckatabon."

As a skilled cook and baker, Lucille spoiled her family with her culinary talents that were honed over the years. Trying new recipes intrigued her, but her flair for the family classics were a constant, with “Noodles and Cream,” (handed down from her Mother-in-Law) a fixture in Engel cooking lore. Coming home after school to Mom’s homemade desserts is a sweet memory for us.

Lucille was a long-time Green Bay Packer season ticket holder, and an ardent Packer fan. She enjoyed attending many games through the years with her daughter Mary Jean. Shopping for and wearing matching green and gold attire was part of the fun. From fair skies to frozen tundra and anything in between, these two went to Lambeau Field to cheer on the Pack.

Our Mom’s knack for shopping was obvious, and her spirit of generosity most evident at Christmas, with the endless unwrapping of gifts. Holidays, birthdays, and the grandchildren’s school events were treasured times of her life.

Perhaps it was Lucille’s humble beginnings that allowed her to enjoy the simple things in life most. Going to movies and the Attic Theatre with her son Steve was a treat for her. Summer band concerts and eating at local restaurants with Gerald and Steve were favorite activities. Coffee and donuts after mass was a weekly indulgence, along with impromptu trips to Hill Top Bakery (middle son and daughter-in-law’s bakery) and soft drinks on the porch with her eldest son David were enjoyed. David’s daily presence in her life was both helpful and reassuring. 

Lucille’s true calling was as mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and her greatest gift for us was her unconditional love. She was a resilient woman whose life is remembered as one of service and sacrifice; to her family and Catholic faith, leaving behind a lasting marker for us to follow. Thanks, Mom!

P.S. We miss your blue eyes already.

Until we all meet again, we take comfort in knowing that you are with Dad and David in the security of God’s Kingdom.

Lucille is lovingly survived by her children Mary Jean (Karl) Roovers, Mark (Lynn) Engel, Steven Engel; sister-in-law Dorothy Giesen; 8 grandchildren: Emily Roovers (Adam Geiser), Elizabeth Roovers, Samantha Roovers (Tom Johnson), Christian (Caitlin) Roovers, Faustine Engel, Miles Engel, Laura (AJ) Looker, Gabrielle Engel (John-Luke Parlow), 12 great-grandchildren: Isabelle Cherny, Arlo Geiser, Micah Shields, Koda Shields, Nora Johnson, Cassidy Roovers, Waverly Roovers, Alden Roovers, Teagan Engel, Finnean Looker, Elliott Looker, Griffin Looker and many nieces and nephews.

Lucille is preceded in death by her husband Gerald; son David; parents Ernest and Antoinette Modl; in-laws Frank and Cecilia Engel; 3 sisters: Eunice (Mick) Degroot, Mildred Hauser Gracyalny, Lorraine (Lloyd) Krueger; brother Marvin Modl; brother-in-law George Engel, brother-in-law John (Dottie) Engel, brother-in-law Norbert Giesen as well as other family members.

Our family would like to express our sincere gratitude and admiration for Steve, whose dedication and devotion to our parents was unparalleled. His sacrifice, companionship, and caregiving talents allowed our mom a remarkably long life in her home.  We would also like to thank Dr. Dernlan and his nurse Tracy, Dr. Werner and his nurse Katie and nurse Laura Looker (granddaughter) all of Primary Care Associates, for their compassion and professional care of our mother. We would also like to thank the staff at Silverstone Memory Care and Moments Hospice for their gentle care of Lucille these last few months.

A funeral liturgy for Lucille will take place on Monday April 15, 2024, at 11:00am, at St Joseph Catholic Parish, 410 W Lawrence Street, Appleton. Friends and family may gather at the church from 9:00am until the start of mass. Lucille will be reunited with her husband and son at St Joseph Cemetery, Appleton.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lucille Lorraine Engel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, April 15, 2024

9:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Joseph Catholic Church

410 W Lawrence St, Appleton, WI 54911

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Monday, April 15, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. Joseph Catholic Church

410 W Lawrence St, Appleton, WI 54911

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Monday, April 15, 2024

2:30 - 2:45 pm (Central time)

St. Joseph Cemetery, Appleton

1528 N Ballard Rd, Appleton, WI 54911

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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