April 9, 1932 - January 3, 2021
Leola Fern Engel Loewen was born on April 9, 1932 to Herbert George and Laura Alice Engel at Corn, Oklahoma. Mom was the second of four children. The family lived in Corn, Oklahoma until 1935. When they moved to Shafter, California, the family attended the First Baptist Church; this is where she was baptized (not long after they attended Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church). Mom received her education in Shafter, graduating at Shafter High School in 1949. Then, she attended Pacific Bible Institute in Fresno for a year. That summer she went to Hartland Christian Camp to work. On the weekend of July 30, 1950, dad, Gene Nickel and Leroy Bartel, took a drive to Hartland that same weekend and this was where mom and dad met. They both fell in love with each other and they started dating. In October of 1950, dad was inducted into the army. After 6 weeks of basic training at Camp Roberts near Paso Robles, dad surprised mom during Christmas with a ring. In January, it was rumored he would go in February to Fort Sam, Houston, Tx. On Friday, February 9, dad called mom and said he was getting a weekend pass and wanted to marry her the following night. They got married that following evening at 6:00 PM at Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church with 200 people in attendance. In November 1952, my father was discharged from the service. Mom and dad moved to Fresno. During the years, their home was blessed with four children: Charles Eugene, Bruce Alan, Suzann Denise, and Jeffrey Lynn. Mom's first priority was always God, her husband and children. After moving to Fresno, our parents attended Bethany Mennonite Brethren Church. In 1955, they left the church and started Butler Avenue MB Church. They helped in all capacities: in building the facilities, as deacons, in mid-week programs, ushering, and wherever they were needed. Serving in church and raising their children in the church, was important to them. Our mother loved being a leader in the Pioneer Girls and helping the girls with Bible verses, arts, and crafts. She also enjoyed being on the church decorating committee and took classes for floral arrangements. Our parents enjoyed the outdoors and camping. As a family, we took trips to Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Kansas, Lake Tahoe, Oregon, Bryce and Zion National Parks. Our parents built a great relationship. They both supported each other and raised their children together. In 1969, our mother started working for Fresno Unified School. She worked with many positions there; as a tutor, classroom aide, clerk-typist and school secretary. She retired from the school district in July 1991. During our mother's younger years, our grandmother taught our mom how to quilt. After our mother retired, she pursued her passion in quilting. She made quilts for all her family and donated some to the MCC Relief Sale. After our parents retirement, they joined the non-denominational group "S.O.W.E.R.S." (Servants on Wheels Ever Ready). Our parents helped with new construction, additions, reconstruction, and repairs of churches and many camps, conference centers, Christian schools and the 180 room Sands Motel for the homeless. Mom and dad also served with USERV; a team working together on repairs of our MB conference church. In two trips to Bellingham, Washington, the team helped remodeled their church. The Capitola church received a refurbishing from the team. Hartland Christian Camp and the work that our parents made there was close dear to their hearts. In addition, our mom loved walking daily, eating and learning the foods of that region. Dad went to the Lord on January 15, 2000 after battling cancer. As a widow our mother traveled to the Caribbean Sea, Alaska, New England States, North Carolina, and Russia. Our mother was a woman of God. She did not miss any of her daily devotions with her small and bible study group. She had her wall of fame; pictures of her children and grandchildren; and prayed for them. The hardest part of mom is moving to The Vineyard, and not going to church on Sunday morning to worship. We are blessed to have a mother and father who both loved the Lord. Our mother leaves behind her 4 children, 12 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren: - Chuck and his wife Sheryl, and their children, Jennifer and Jason - Bruce and his wife, Michele and their children Jared, Andrew, Scott, Jennifer and Chris - Suzann and her husband, Jeff Tolladay and their children, David and Karen - Jeff and his wife Shea and his sons Micah, Mark and Mason - 9 great-grandchildren: Brooke, Emma, JT, Christopher, Alex, Lila, Caleb, Jasmine and one still in the oven, along with Ava, Aurora, Dorian and Mallory - A sister: Marge and her husband, Gene Wishon - A brother: Bud Engel and his wife, Kathy - Two sister-in-law: Lavada Brandt and Vonne Huebert On Sunday evening, January 3, 2021, our mom went through God's wide open door to eternal life... and we shall miss her. ***Due to Covid restrictions, attendance will be limited. Please contact the family for requirements and attendance.
Leola Fern Engel Loewen was born on April 9, 1932 to Herbert George and Laura Alice Engel at Corn, Oklahoma. Mom was the second of four children. The family lived in Corn, Oklahoma until 1935. When they moved to Shafter, California, the family... View Obituary & Service Information
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