Frank S. Engel

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Born in Charleston, WV on November 2, 1961

Departed on January 7, 2020 and resided in Indianapolis, IN

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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.

Tribute Video

Guestbook Entries

  1. Bruce W. Buchanan January 8, 2020 at 10:25 am - Reply

    There are few things more difficult than dealing with the loss of a loved one. I am honored that you have chosen our family to care for your family during this time. Please let me know if there is more we can do to help celebrate your loved-one’s life.

    My Warmest Regards,

    Bruce W. Buchanan
    4th Generation Owner
    Since 1881

  2. Cheryl (Umbaugh) Riggle January 8, 2020 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Candle 1My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I worked at Monarch Beverage with Frank in the early 1990’s. Many great memories.

  3. Wendy Hovious January 8, 2020 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Candle 7I am at a loss for words, you were a big brother to me for 18 years. You will be missed by your Martinsville family. I love you Frank!

  4. JM Goeller January 8, 2020 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Candle 1Words don’t do this man justice. He became family. A best friend and a father. He left his impact on so many, and his weight room became a sanctuary. His lessons, humor, and larger-than-life personality will remain with us all forever. We were blessed to have him in our lives and not a day will go by where he isn’t missed.

    A life well-lived.

  5. Garon craig January 8, 2020 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Candle 1I worked at artisan liquor for Frank. My prayers are with his family

  6. ME January 8, 2020 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    Candle 1Frank created a family with hardcore fitness, he was full of love. Each day he looked to make an positive impact, his approach to understanding peoples struggles made him unique. He knew when to be tough and when to be kind. He was driven, intelligent and caring. He was always a fighter, he never backed down from any challenge and that is why I and many others look up to him. He lived life to the fullest and I can’t wait to tell my future kids about how great of a man and trainer he was. We will never forget you, thank you for everything you have done not just for me but for everyone.

  7. Melissa January 9, 2020 at 8:20 am - Reply

    It was a honor to apart of his life

  8. Kristin Brown January 9, 2020 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Candle 2Im so sorry! My first memory of Frank, was being given a ride on the motorcycle, around the back yard, while visiting IN with the folks! Best. Ride. Ever. ❤ sending lots of love from NC.

  9. Randy & Marinelle Szenasy January 9, 2020 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Candle 1in prayer for the repose of his soul –

  10. Steve cook January 9, 2020 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    We never met but i always heard so many good things about

    Rest in peace

  11. Rocky Trottier January 9, 2020 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Candle 2My prayers and condolences to the entire Engel family for this devastating loss. i myself had known Frank for over 30 years as has my family that lived in the Indianapolis area. So many stories, some hilarious, some sad but it was a pleasure knowing him as long as I did.
    From Frank getting me my first job in town when I moved the area and coaching hockey locally. Most fun ever with this guy. We talked about those days often and recently too. Frank was an inspiration to many athletes in his time. One of the best mentors and coaches I ever dealt with. He was a natural at it. I learned a bunch from him.

    Rest in Peace Frank, you will be missed.

    Rocky Trottier

  12. Javier E. Najera January 9, 2020 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Candle 1My most sincere condolences to the entire Engel family. May he rest in peace, and may you all find peace in your grief.

  13. Jim Shelley January 9, 2020 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Candle 2I was lucky enough to meet Frank at the gym during his mandated 1 year “sabbatical“ from Wittenberg University In ‘81. I’m pretty sure that’s when Frank caught the bug for his “professional bodybuilding”career. We lost track of each other until the early 2000s when I met an old flame of Frank’s and Wittenberg alum Trudy Smith.
    Not long after Trudy and I started dating in2004, Trudy called Frank to tell him about her new guy Jim Shelley. Although he didn’t answer, he called right back and left a lengthy message on Trudy’s answering machine telling her what a great guy I was, and gave her his blessing to date me.
    Trudy and I are celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary this year, therefore I will always be grateful for Frank’s ringing endorsement.
    We are truly saddened by the loss of Frank and wish the best for his family.

  14. TR Sullivan January 9, 2020 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Helen and I are deeply sorry for your family’s loss,,,,We hope our thoughts and prayers go with you during this difficult time

  15. Jack and Katie Manard January 9, 2020 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Candle 1Will miss you, Frank.
    Thanks for your interest and care for so many athletes.

  16. Jack and Katie Manard January 9, 2020 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Candle 1RIP Frank…
    Thanks so very much for what you have done for our athletes.

  17. J MICHAEL FARLEY January 9, 2020 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Candle 2I did not know Frank, nor have I had the pleasure of knowing the Engle family. I have known, they their work, his brother and sister in law. They like i have learned about Frank make this world better every day. May their hearts be free from sorrow and filled with grace and peace

  18. Stephen Preusse January 10, 2020 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Candle 2It was a truly a sad day when we learned about Franks’s passing – he was way too young!

    I first knew of Frank when he was a senior at Park Tudor. As a spry Freshman, I remember his truly intimidating presence. It wasn’t until 20 years later that I shared a fishing boat with him in Canada and learned that Frank was indeed a gentle giant. Fish on, Frank!

  19. Kent Lebherz January 10, 2020 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Ted, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. There is no question that 58 is far too young for him to have been taken from us. I didn’t know Frank, but from what I’ve read, he sounds as if he was quite an individual, and someone I’m sorry that I didn’t have an opportunity to meet. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  20. Trudie & John Wanchow January 11, 2020 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Candle 1Our prayers and condolences to the Engel family. May Frank rest pain free and in peace. He fought a hard battle. We first met the Engle family in 1968 when they were our neighbors in Carmel and have remained friends ever since.

  21. Bill Moorhead January 11, 2020 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    I met Frank in ’82 at Wittenberg and we were very close for 20 years. We shared many great, zany, off-beat experiences. He taught me about wine. My wife, Lisa, and I tried to teach him about love. He introduced me to deadlifting. I introduced him to OSU Buckeyes. We laughed. Alot. Rest in Peace. Condolences to the Engel Family and thanks for including me on the Indy 500 Events all those years.

  22. Matt Oliver January 13, 2020 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    In a small weight room on the second floor of an ice rink in basically the middle of nowhere Indiana, there existed a place for years that transformed people’s bodies and minds. In this place, people laughed, cried, sweat, swore, shot the shit about the mundane and thought hard about how to solve the worlds problems. People got stronger, people got leaner, people grew emotionally and a community of friends and strangers came together, all because of Frank.

    I walked into the Arctic Zone in Westfield, IN around the summer of 2006 as a 290lbish 16 year old who had struggled with weight problems and tried everything. Over the next 3 years, I lost over 100lbs, I participated in professional power lifting competitions, flirted with a degree in Dietetics and completely transformed the way I approached the world. I owe this all to Frank.

    Over the years, Frank started as a weight coach who kicked my ass and taught me the value of persistence. Then as a friend and mentor whose tough love and intellectual curiosity helped build my critical thinking and foundation for future self-education. Later as a boss too when I worked at Brownstone and Artisan Liquors in Martinsville while I was at IU. Suffice to say, Frank as played a large part in my life. One that if we had never met, I would be a radically different person.

    Like the obituary states, Frank was a teacher. He was an intellectual. He kept stacks of books in the weight room he was reading or read. In another life, Frank would have been a professor or lawyer. He was thoughtful and caring. He was tough and uncompromising. He made you want to be the best you. Losing Frank is losing a spark in the world that will never be replaced.

    I am eternally grateful to have known Frank, learned from him and carry the things he taught me through my life and pass them down to my kids. Frank isn’t really gone, he know lives through those that knew him. So if you’re ever missing him, turn on some Ted Nugent, crack a beer, find a dumbbell and lift.

  23. Carolyn B Williams January 14, 2020 at 1:03 am - Reply

    I am so sorry the hear that Frank has passed. I have loved this Engel family since 1968. I was the babysitter when the kids were little in Carmel. The little Frank I knew was adorable, always had questions, to which my answers were never right. It’s nice to see all that he’s done to help others during his lifetime. Ann, Ted, Christopher, David, Michael, Wheezie, Mac, Allan and I are keeping you in our thoughts and grieving with you. All our love. The Williams

  24. Michelle Wilham January 14, 2020 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Candle 4I first met Frank at Monarch beverage where his passion and loyalty for the Wine business and the French family were apparent. Sharing his knowledge of wine and educating co-workers was just one of Franks many strengths. Frank had a determination and passion to help others, not only in the health and wellness field but personally. He unconditionally put others before himself and was a true friend and supporter to everyone he met. His vast array of music was something we always shared, knowing every word and singing/sounding just like Clint Black. .
    He was an avid fisherman and was happy and willing to fish any body of water. One thing is for sure, Frank gave his all to anything he had an interest in and was one of the strongest, most caring, and generous people I have ever met. I will love and miss him every day. I am blessed and honored to have known him.

    • Shannon M Brown January 29, 2020 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      Candle 4My dear Frank

      I’m truly saddened and stricken by your passing. I thought for sure you would beat this one.

      I didn’t get to know you as long as the others here have, but I feel lucky to be ‘your girl’ and have spent the last couple years together. I’ve never met such a character as you and you are greatly missed. Your pride in your son is unparalleled, rest assured he will go far and do amazing things.

      You made me happy, you ticked me off, you made me proud, you loved me, you taught me a couple things, and you opened my eyes to a few others. Your wide rotten streak was only surpassed by your great big heart.

      I know you told me to play a certain few songs at your funeral. Although they weren’t, they are playing loud on the big stereo at my house when you visit (and a couple others too that you always rolled your eyes at, LOL).

      Rest easy, big fella. I love you.

      (I have some recent pics of him if anybody wants a copy.)

  25. Trudy Shelley January 14, 2020 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    The world will be a less interesting place without Frank Engel in it – everyone reading this can agree upon that! Frank and I navigated young adulthood, graduating from college, our first “grown up” job, and the drama of “first love” together. I received much from and many of the things I enjoy/love today I attribute to Frank, my friendship and love for Kim, and for Mac, motorcycles, music – Clapton, Dire Straights, Lyle and Sting come to mind,- wine, weight training and I should have said first of all, I indirectly met my husband, Jim Shelley via Frank!

    Frank and I broke each other’s hearts a couple times, discussed LOUDLY are different point of view more times than I can count, our friendship endured. Prior to his diagnosis, as he struggled with some other health issues,I sent him a 1996 you tube video of Eric Clapton and Pavarotti performing the song “Holy Mother” written by Clapton when he, too was facing adversity. To paraphrase, the lyrics read “give me peace, take away this pain” Franks message back assures me that our friend, brother, son, and father is at peace and no longer suffering.
    My family and I send our love and our deepest condolences to all of the Engels. Mac, he would have absolutely loved this obit….. so witty, so ironic, sarcastic funny…so FRANK! That said, it doesn’t change the fact, that it hurts to lose him -my family and I send our love and deepest condolences to all of the Engels.

    Rest in peace Frank – love you!

  26. Lou Wildeman January 14, 2020 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Frank was the epitome of a true and loyal friend to me and my family. I will forever miss our workout sessions, but it’s the conversations we had that i will miss the most. No subject was off limits and the banter was always lively while each of us tried to change the others mind when we disagreed on a subject.The mental exercise was always worth the physical pain! We will miss him.

  27. James D. Beckley January 15, 2020 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Today, I pay my respects & fondly remember my good friend, mentor, and father figure Frank Engel. Truly one of the smartest, funniest, most caring & perceptive people I’ve ever known. He truly helped turn my life around & kickstarted what has been an astonishing path of growth & development I never could have imagined. And to think, I was just looking to learn about lifting weights.

    Frank said a few times to me & others they should play Gregg Allman’s “I’m No Angel” at his funeral. I don’t know if they will buddy, but I’ll be listening to it often today, with a mixture of tears & a smile as I remember you. Love you brother. RIP to a legend.

  28. James D. Beckley January 15, 2020 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Today, I pay my respects & fondly remember my good friend, mentor, and father figure Frank Engel. Truly one of the smartest, funniest, most caring & perceptive people I’ve ever known. He truly helped turn my life around & kickstarted what has been an astonishing path of growth & development I never could have imagined. And to think, I was just looking to learn about lifting weights.

    Frank said a few times to me & others they should play Gregg Allman’s “I’m No Angel” at his funeral. I don’t know if they will buddy, but I’ll be listening to it often today, with a mixture of tears & a smile as I remember you. RIP to a legend.

  29. Maury and Carolyn Phillips January 28, 2020 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Rest in peace, Frank. Our family was fortunate to know you as a mentor for our sons through Park Tudor hockey. You will be missed.

  30. Randy Vogt January 31, 2020 at 8:50 am - Reply

    To Frank’s family, I’m so sorry for your loss. Frank was a great friend to not only me but my entire family. We first met when he was the strength coach for Park Tudor hockey. He trained my son Aaron. He was more than a coach he became a great friend. We rode many miles on our Harley’s.

    Even though we lost touch over the years I never lost my respect and friendship for this fine man.

    God bless you and your family.

  31. Loretta Jean Byrd February 11, 2020 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Candle 3You exploded into my life and disappeared from my life ironically much the same. Meeting you was truly a highlight of my life. The time that I spent with you will forever be some of my most adventurous excitement filled lasting memories. You had a magnificent mind. A truly magnetic personality. A genuine love and appreciation for art. A deep need for the written word. Your books and art collection filling your home. Music blaring… Eric Clapton. I cannot listen to any of his music without a memory of you. An absolutely amazingly beautiful heart. A gentle soul. Sweet gentle soul.
    You are missed and you will forever be tucked away in crazy, spontaneous exciting fun filled and…..beautiful memories

  32. Lisa Olson Vega March 9, 2020 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Frank was the big brother that I never had while we were both students at Wittenberg. Frank made the world so much more colorful. It is with a heavy heart that I say good bye to my old, dear, friend.

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