Obituary for Paul Hengel Sr.
Paul W. Hengel, Sr. age 87, of Woolwich Twp. NJ, passed away on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at his home surrounded by his family. Born in Pierre, SD to the late Hattie and Tony Hengel, Paul attended Pierre High School where he was an all-around student-athlete. He participated in football, basketball and track. In 1947, Paul was a member of the State Championship Track Team. Paul was also the 1947 individual “State Champion” in the 880 yard run which he won in school record time, and he finished second in the mile in the same meet. Academically, he graduated second in his class, was the Editor of the Yearbook, National Honor Society President, Boy’s State Mayor, and a member of the band and orchestra.
Upon graduation, Paul continued his education at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota where he continued to run track and cross country. In 1950, after spending two years at St. Thomas University, Paul enrolled for the spring semester at the University of Notre Dame. In the summer of 1950 Paul married the love of his life, Mary Agnes Carberry of Aberdeen, SD. They were married for 53 years, and became the proud and loving parents of 10 children.
Paul and his best friend, Curt Neuharth, co-owned and operated a service station in Pierre from 1953-1955. In 1955 Paul and Mary moved their family to Seattle, Washington where Paul took a job with the Boeing Company helping to build and advance air travel. In 1963 Paul graduated from Seattle University with a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering. Later that same year, Paul & Mary moved their family again, this time to Slidell, Louisiana. His transfer to the Boeing Space Program involved helping to develop the Saturn and Apollo Rockets, and ultimately playing a role in putting a man on the Moon. In 1965 Paul and Mary packed up the house to transfer one last time to Mullica Hill, NJ. Continuing to work for Boeing, Paul accepted a job with Boeing Vertol in Morton, PA. where he worked on ground support equipment for the Helicopter Division, specifically working with the Chinook and Osprey Helicopters. Paul’s time with Boeing involved several trips overseas, including trips to England and Singapore. All in all, Paul worked 37 years for Boeing before retiring in 1992. Paul always said he enjoyed every day of his 37 years with Boeing.
In 1997 Paul and Mary downsized and moved for the last time to Woolwich, Twp. NJ.
Paul loved the University of Notre Dame, and was to say at the very least, a passionate fan of all their athletic teams. He spent countless hours playing golf, traveling near and far to find new courses that he and his friends would attempt to conquer. Bowling was another of his favorite pastimes. At the age of 64, Paul rode Ragbrai, a week long, 495 mile bike ride across the State of Iowa with 10,000 other bike riders. In addition to meeting and talking to riders from across the country, his favorite part of Ragbrai was sampling pies and ice cream at every town stop. In 2014, at age of 85, Paul was inducted into the Pierre High School Hall of Fame, and was honored to be presented with his Hall of Fame Plaque by longtime and best friend, Curt Neuharth.
Paul’s Catholic faith was very important to him. He was a Eucharistic Minister at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Mullica Hill, NJ, a Sunday Lector, and a long time member of the Knights of Columbus. He was also very instrumental in the construction of the new Parish Church & Hall at Holy Name after he was asked by Father Bryce to oversee the construction of the building.
Because of Paul’s love of Helicopter Aviation, he became one of the founding members of the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester, PA. He spent countless hours helping to visualize and create the Museum which opened its doors in 1996. Once established, Paul was one of the numerous volunteers from Boeing who helped to restore the rotary aircraft which would later be on display at the museum.
Husband of the late Mary A. Hengel (nee Carberry), Paul is survived by his 10 children, Mary Anne Smith (Darvin) Columbus, NE; Paul W. Hengel Jr. (Amy) Alberton, MT; Thomas A. Hengel (Lisa) Mullica Hill, NJ; Margaret J. Sammacicci (Nicholas) Pilesgrove, NJ; Patricia M. Raffa (Ronald) Hammonton, NJ; Elizabeth A. Groody, (Chris) Mantua, NJ; Nancy M. Hengel, Swedesboro, NJ; Philip J. Hengel (Michele) Alloway, NJ; Joseph M. Reese-Hengel (Allen), Atascadreo, CA; Theresa K. Morrison (Thomas) Alloway, NJ; sixteen grandchildren, Rebecca Kyle (Brad), Benjamin Smith (Jessie), Cody Smith, Travis Smith (Kristi), Nicholas Sammacicci, Jr. (Kelly), Danielle Hastings (Jeremy), Karla Raffa, Melissa Groody (Jeff McClintock), Kristina Groody (Phil Champion), Mary Groody, Kelly Groody, Justin Hengel (Amanda), Lauren Hengel, Addyson Hengel, Thai Reese-Hengel, and Robert Reese-Hengel, and thirteen great grandchildren, Alexis Kyle, Connor Locker, Hudson Smith, Isabella Sammacicci, Nicholas Sammacicci III, Gabrielle Hastings, Peyton Hastings, Chloe Hastings, Macie McClintock, Lane McClintock, Rian Groody, Jackson Hengel, and Declan Hengel, and sisters-in-law Jane & Ann Hengel. Paul also was predeceased by his sister, Elizabeth Lamster, and brothers, John, Ray, Bernard, James, Anthony, & Phillip Hengel.
Family & Friends may visit from 6 pm to 8 pm on Tuesday, May 9th and 9 am to 10 am Wednesday, May 10th at Catholic Community of The Holy Spirit at Holy Name of Jesus Church, 17 Earlington Ave., Mullica Hill, NJ. Mass will be held at 10 am on Wednesday at church. Burial will follow at Holy Name of Jesus Cemetery in Mullica Hill, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph’s Indian School, PO Box 300, Chamberlain, SD 57325; The Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit, 17 Earlington Ave., Mullica Hill, NJ 08062; or Crazy Horse Memorial, 12151 Avenue of the Chiefs, Crazy Horse, SD 57730.