Saying goodbye to Papaw Engle

As I stated at my Grandfather’s (Orville Engle) funeral this past weekend, I wish I had known him as a friend, or as a coach, or as a teacher. From all I have heard, he was quite a guy. I was honored by my father when he asked me to share a eulogy and preach at his funeral. I found that when speaking of his life, I only could share my experiences with him as Papaw, because that’s who he was, and still is, to me. But, as I have learned, especially over the past few days, he was so many things to so many people.

As people shared about their relationship with him, I kept hearing words like integrity and faithfulness. I shared with the congregation at the funeral that even though I have never read Tom Brokaw’s book, “The Greatest Generation,” I felt that my Papaw was the epitome of the person from which the spirit of that book was derived. He was an honor student and well liked and respected by his classmates. He was an incredible athlete – many say he was the greatest that ever came out of Pineville, KY. He was a Marine who sacrificed part of his youth fighting for our freedom in Iwo Jima during World War II. I really do wish that I could have known him during those times. I would love to be able to go back and watch him run one touchdown in one of his high school football games. But even though that is impossible to do, I feel blessed to have known him simply as my Papaw.

I have many great memories of him, my fondest of those taking place on the golf course right outside of Pineville that he would take me to when I was very young. I have a great love to play and watch golf now because of those times. I shared at the funeral that I have always enjoyed the walks around Pineville that we would take on almost every trip there with him, my father and my uncle. When I am there, I am filled with a sense of pride. I have learned that being an Engle in Pineville means something, greatly due to the life of my Papaw. We would almost always run into someone who would tell me how great of a man my Papaw was, of just how great all three of those men performed on the football field. I will be able to take my children to the high school there in town and show them the plaque that was recently placed outside the gymnasium, which has recently been named after Orville Engle.

All in all, I will miss both him and Mamaw (who passed away 5 years ago). I loved them both so much and was greatly blessed to have them as grandparents. Below is the slide show that I put together for viewing at the receiving of friends on this past Saturday night. It’s a pretty good tribute to him, as it contains pictures of all of the aspects of his life that I mentioned earlier. Sorry that it has no sound, but sound was not an option for the setting in which it was shown.

I Married my bride, Erin, in 2003. We have 3 children: Emma, Elijah, and Lydia. I have served full-time on staff at Westwood Baptist Church, in Roxboro, NC, since summer of 2006 as Pastor of Students & Discipleship. I am currently enrolled at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, pursuing my Doctorate of Education.

2 thoughts on “Saying goodbye to Papaw Engle

  1. JasonThat is a beautiful Tribute to yourGrandfather, I am sure he has left many wonderful memories for you and your family and for you to share with your childrenKathy

  2. How precious are the memories of the loved ones who have passed on. Your tribute to your grandfather was moving. I know your family will miss him greatly.Our love and prayers are with you and your family.Love, The Sharpes

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