Obituary of Kenneth E. Engkvist
Kenneth E. Engkvist passed peacefully in Mullica Hill, NJ on June 1, 2018 after a short illness. Ken lived his life with optimism that enriched everyone fortunate enough to know him, and unmatched commitment to his family.
Born on August 24, 1939, Ken grew up in Ossining, NY, the son of Swedish immigrants. He took every opportunity to let you know that he was a true Viking (but the gentle kind.)
During high school and later at college, he was very active in school activities, including soccer, basketball, and student government. At Hartwick College, he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, which he never tired of reminding his family was “TKE – the fraternity for life!”
More importantly, however, is that at college he met his bride, Karin Karlsson. Later he would tell his children stories that Karin tutored him in spelling and that is how he wrangled his first date with her. In retrospect, his children wondered what sort of spelling tests were being given at Hartwick in the 1960s…
After marrying in 1963, Ken and Karin moved to Waterbury, Connecticut, where he started working as an accountant before enlisting in the Marines in 1961 (and being honorably discharged in 1967). “Semper Fi” he often told us, with great pride for having served.
For most of his career, Ken worked in sales and sales management, working with large scale clients at Xerox, GE Calma, and SDRC. He found great satisfaction in providing solutions for his customers and leading his teams.
Perhaps a result of his seafaring genes, he was happiest when he was on the water, whether at the small cottage on Highland Lake or in a runabout on Canandaigua Lake after the family moved to Rochester in 1981. But, actually, that is not quite true, as he was truly happiest when he was with his family, cheering on his children and later his grandchildren at virtually every sporting event in which they ever competed. Ken loved presiding over family holiday dinners where he consistently urged everyone to show patience and love to each other.
He was also a traveler, often planning the next trip while in the midst of the current one. Favorite journeys included cruises in Alaska, Russia and South America, and visits to Hawaii and Hong Kong.
Gregarious by nature, Ken was quite the host; even in his last weeks at Mullica Gardens he could often be heard inviting the nurses and other staff, of whom he was very fond, in for a drink, much to their amusement.
Ken and Karin were married for 54 years. After Karin passed away in March, his health rapidly declined. To his children it seemed that their parents, having given all their love and support to each other for decades, always wanted to be together.
Ken is survived by his older brother, Ted Engkvist of Naples, Florida, loving son Karl Engkvist and his wife Aja Kimura of Singapore, devoted daughter Kristine Dwyer of Turnersville NJ, and his grandchildren, Olivia Dwyer, Ben Dwyer and Ariel Kimura.
As a final note, one piece of advice that Ken doled out with great regularity, “Take care of your car and it will take care of you.” He meant it!
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his visitation on Wednesday, June 6th from 6:00PM to 7:00PM in the McGuinness Funeral Home, 573 Egg Harbor Road Sewell, NJ. Funeral Service to follow at 7:00PM. Interment will be private by the request of the family.
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