Despite the advanced warning that the day was coming sooner rather than later, hearing the words that your brother has died is a Louisville Slugger to the stomach.
Frank Sheridan Engel died on Jan. 7, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Frank was 58, and fought cancer for approximately the final five months of his life.
The man was ornery, funny, charming, selfish, selfless, hyperbolic, full of it, loving, caring, aggravating, and, ultimately, interesting. The name “Frank” is both an adjective and a verb; in this instance, it means “without dullness.”
Frank was born on Nov. 2, 1961 in Charleston, West Virginia to Ann and Ted Engel.
Frank is the oldest sibling to Christopher, David, Ann Louise, Michael, and Mac.
Frank also leaves behind a 13-year-old son, Max, and Max’s mother, Kim.
Frank graduated from Park Tudor High School in Indianapolis in 1980; after a one-year, university mandated “sabbatical,” he earned his college degree from Wittenberg University (OH) in 1985 with a degree in history. He would spend the next 30 plus years bragging about his academic conquests.
After college, he worked for the Coca Cola bottling company. He then went on to become a regional manager within the Earnest and Julio Gallo winery. During his time with that company, and a subsidiary, he lived in Anaheim, California and in Cincinnati before he relocated to Indianapolis.
After leaving that job he became a small business owner for several years in Martinsville, Indiana … and, who are we kidding? Frank owned a pair of small liquor stores and sold cheap booze for profit.
As he grew older his focused more on his passion, personal fitness and strength training.
Since Frank was a teenager, he loved to workout and strength train.
Somewhere in Frank was a professional body builder who simply never pursued that profession.
Also in Frank was a teacher, who simply never took the steps to earn his certification. He was only too certain he knew more than those who were certified, as he was born with the curse of being the smartest person in the room, including rooms he did not occupy.
Although Frank could ice skate almost as well as a three-legged giraffe, he became a staple for youth hockey programs in Indianapolis for more than 15 years as a trainer.
He was initially introduced to the sport of hockey through his close friend, former long time professional player Monty Trottier. Frank became what was essentially an assistant for the team at Park Tudor High School. During this time, for reasons known only to a higher power, he frequently adopted a Canadian accent.
Frank also worked with the teams in Carmel, Indiana.
His greatest impact was mentoring the countless young men as he followed and influenced their lives and careers after they graduated from high school.
He also developed and ran a small gym for adults near Carmel, and had a stream of steady clients and friends. One friend lost 250 pounds through Frank’s instruction and direction.
Along the way he and Kim were married and gave birth to their son, Max. Alas, Frank excelled in marriage much in the same way he did on ice skates.
An avid consumer of American history, Frank also enjoyed fishing, and specifically lying through his skull about his success as a fisherman.The man would claim the minnow he bravely caught was Moby Dick’s twin.
Frank loved Ohio State Buckeyes football. He loved riding his motorcycles. He loved Halloween. He loved his son.
He loved being right. He lived completely unapologetically.
As much as he aspired to be, Frank was not terribly complex, even if the life he led often was.
He loved the basic parts of life. He enjoyed teaching. He loved being outside. He loved the water. Hot dogs. Cheeseburgers. The Midwest.
Any effort to encapsulate a person’s life is incomplete. And now that Frank is no longer here we should only focus on the brightest colors he generated, because there were many.
He was loving. Challenging. Caring. Stubborn. Funny. A tremendous pain. Consistently imperfect, and Frank Engel certainly made our lives just a bit more interesting.
Memorial services for Frank are scheduled for 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at Flanner Buchanan, 1305 Broad Ripple Ave., Indianapolis, IN. 317-475-4475.
In lieu of flowers please make contributions in memory of Frank Engel to the Learn To Play Program at the Indianapolis Youth Hockey Association, 1040 3rd Ave SW, Carmel, IN 46032 or charity of donor's choice.