James Engen, 71, Naples, Fla.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 10, 2005

James Madson Engen, age 71, died April 8, 2005, in Naples, Fla. A funeral service will be held 2 p.m., May 14, at LeSueur River Lutheran Church, east of New Richland.

Jim, the son of Leonard and Arleane (Madson) Engen, was born and raised in Albert Lea. He graduated from Albert Lea High School and was a member and president of the National Honor Society. While attending high school he met Lavon Grasdalen, whom he later wed in 1954. Jim received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota (1955) and his Masters of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Illinois (1956). He also completed the IRI/Harvard Management Course (1985) while employed with the Pillsbury Company in Minneapolis.

Jim was an engineer with the Pillsbury Company for 31 years. He made significant contributions in research & development, engineering, plant operations, and quality assurance and distribution. Jim’s value to Pillsbury was recognized in 1988 when he received the prestigious Pillsbury Leadership (Eagle) Award. Jim followed his Pillsbury career with several years as an independent food operations consultant. Jim was also recognized as an effective mentor to young engineers. During his college and working years he was an active participant in the University YMCA in Minneapolis.

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Jim and Lavon moved to the family cabin on St. Olaf Lake following his retirement. They were residents of Florida, wintering in Naples. He and Lavon enjoyed many years of traveling with each other, friends, and with family.

Jim is survived by Lavon, his wife of 50 years; three children: Julie (Chuck) Hedstrom of Ramsey, Minn., Scott (Denise) Engen of Minneapolis, and Stuart (Mary) Engen of Moorhead; and nine grandchildren: Natasha, Alicia, Kassie, Clara, Carl-Lars, Mikkel, Alyse, Tierza, and Everett James.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Arleane; and his stepmother, Dorothy.

In lieu of flowers,. the family has asked that memorials be made to the University YMCA, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, or the Kenny Institute of Minneapolis.