Cover photo for William "Bill" B. Engelke's Obituary
William "Bill" B. Engelke Profile Photo
1931 William "Bill" 2023

William "Bill" B. Engelke

October 10, 1931 — February 23, 2023




William “Bill” B. Engelke

Sutherland, Iowa


Services for Bill Engelke, age 91, of Sutherland who passed away on Thursday, February 23, 2023, will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at the Sutherland United Methodist Church.

To view Bill's livestream, please register at:

            Burial will be at Waterman Cemetery in Sutherland.

            Visitation with family present will be from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. on Friday, April 28, 2023, at Eldridge Family Funeral Home in Paullina.

Memorials to Cherokee Regional Hospice, Alzheimer’s of Siouxland or plants are preferred in lieu of flowers. 


William B. Engelke passed away at Sunrise Retirement Community in Sioux City, Iowa with his children at his side (personally and virtually).  Bill was born to George William and Lucy (Lu) Grace (Boyer) Engelke on October 10, 1931, at their home on the family farm outside Sutherland. Older sisters, Becky Anne and Betty Jane, welcomed him.  Bill lived on the family farm for 86 of his 91 years—living elsewhere only for his time in the service, the first years of marriage, and the last few days of his life.

Raised at the end of the great depression, Bill’s family was fortunate and they “never went to bed hungry”. Bill also learned the important lesson that he reminded his children and grandchildren of “waste not, want not”. By growing up in a time when people did not have many material goods, he learned to be thankful and happy for all that he did have. He never forgot those lessons and taught younger generations to manage financial risk by reminding them, “one does not know when the next depression will (might) occur”.

As a young boy, Bill enjoyed riding horses and playing sports. He grew to be a tall, lanky young man who played football, basketball, and baseball. He especially enjoyed football—even playing on an area team after high school. When he was a senior, Bill met his future wife, Marcia Rausch, of Paullina. After graduating high school, Bill was “grunt labor” moving bricks while the community men built the Sutherland Legion Hall that still stands. He also painted houses and was a day laborer prior to entering the Marine Reserves in March 1951. Bill was assigned to a tank unit—easily the unit’s tallest man fitting himself in a tank’s confined space. He served in the Korean conflict until his discharge in June 1952. 

During his down time in Korea, Bill began reading his captain’s news magazines and discussing the issues with him. Bill continued to stay abreast of the news throughout his life and taught his children to care about current events and the value of discussions at the table with family and friends. His daughter-in-law remembers many early morning conversations attempting to solve the world’s issues before anyone else was out of bed.  One of his grandsons thanked him for showing the beauty of a good debate. 

Marcia and Bill were married on August 10, 1952, very shortly after Bill returned from the service. In the Spring of 1953, Bill and Marcia began to farm the 80 acres where they lived just west of Sutherland plus 90 acres owned by his aunt. In January of 1956, they moved to the family farm where Bill grew up and began farming those acres. Together, they worked to provide for their growing family: Jenny Ann (‘53), Greg (‘55) and Amy Jo (’59).   

Bill taught the value of hard work and a day’s work for a day’s pay.  He did his best to balance farm responsibilities with spending time with his family.  Fieldwork was important, but family was most important. The planter, combine or corn picker was shut down so they could be at games to cheer from junior high through college. Each of his children remember him teaching them to tie their shoes, do math in their head versus using calculators as is done today, and to name their local, state, and national representatives while in the barn milking cows.  He reminded his family that most injuries “are a long way from the heart” and an “Engelke pill” can fix almost anything.  Supper conversation many times included the Reader’s Digest vocabulary list.  Before bedtime, he got down on the floor to give “flying angels” and “flip flops” or put on child-sized gloves to teach the kids how to box. 

He and Marica both believed education is a life-long process and does not relate just what’s learned in school, and it is more than a diploma.  He led by example teaching others to speak positively of others and keep negative comments to themselves. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”  Bill collected quotes, made handwritten cards for Marcia, and demonstrated that true wisdom isn’t found in a book but in a life well lived. 

Bill & Marcia were best friends and thankful for the time they could spend together. The depth of that friendship and their love showed in how they faced life together—whether it was disciplining children, making ends meet when money was tight, working in the field together, researching a new purchase, encouraging their children, going dancing or dealing with Marcia’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis together. When Marcia’s health required more assistance, Bill spent most of his days by her side.

“Old Bill”, as he called himself for 20+ years, bought dozens of single red roses for Marcia.  He encouraged younger men to do the same—not to get the thank you but to simply show their love.  He even teasingly asked, “Do you want to be thanked once or many times?”

Bill was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Marcia M. Engelke, his parents George & Lu Engelke, parents-in-law Frank & Bonnie Rausch, sisters & husbands, Becky Anne Stewart (Paul) and Betty Jane Cahill (Bill), and brother-in-law Rodney Rausch. He is remembered with love by his children Jenny Ann & Craig Jorgensen of Sioux City, Greg & Paula Engelke of New Brighton, MN and Amy Jo & Ken Kerr of West Des Moines; grandchildren and great-grandchildren Skylar & Katie Jorgensen (Grace, Drew & Marcia) of Kearney, MO, Lucas & Erin Jorgensen (Ainsley) of St. Charles, MO, Kendall  & Derrick Davis (Veronica, Camden William Engelke & Kasen) of Arden Hills, MN, Erin Engelke of Alpine, WY, and Breanna Kerr of Sioux Falls, SD; sister-in-law, Doris Rausch of Paullina and extended family and friends.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, April 28, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Eldridge Family Funeral Home - Paullina

217 East Logan Street, Paullina, IA 51046

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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 29, 2023

11:00 - 11:45 am (Central time)

Sutherland United Methodist Church

214 W. 2nd St., Sutherland, IA 51058


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