On November 30th, 2022 Philip Eldon Engle was called home to be with his Lord and Savior at the age of 72. Heaven has gained an amazing husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, coach and friend. Some would say that Phil was blessed with a life that many men only dream of, and they would be right.
Phil was born to Anna and Eldon Engle of Abilene, Kansas on May 7, 1950. He was blessed with loving Christian parents whose entire focus was their children, Philip and Ruth, and their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. His childhood was filled with amazing people and experiences. His favorite memories included wrestling with his father in the living room, playing basketball in the barn, shooting pheasants with his uncle Ed, working with his horse Friskee, and annoying his beloved sister Ruthie.
Phil accepted Christ as his personal savior in July 1962 in a Church Youth Camp. He went on to attend Chapman High School where he received many honors in football, basketball, and track and field including being named an All-State Defensive Tackle in Kansas. He was widely recruited to play college football. After playing at Hutchinson Community College, he transferred to South Dakota State University to play for the Jackrabbits. A three year starter, he was named to the NCAA All-American Team in 1972.
In 1973, he was drafted into the NFL by the Green Bay Packers. After being released by them in the Spring, he completed his student teaching and coaching and then signed for the 1974 season with the New England Patriots. He was subsequently picked up by the Detroit Wheels of the fledgling World Football League (WFL) and then the Birmingham Americans with whom he won the WFL World Championship in 1974.
Following his professional football career, Phil started a heralded career as a college football coach. While still in South Dakota, he was blessed with the birth of a son Mitchell Philip in 1977. During his career spanning from 1977 to 1988, he coached at South Dakota State University, North Dakota State University, the University of Tulsa, and the University of Wisconsin.
While in Tulsa, he met the love of his life Carla at a church singles party. They were married on Valentine's Day of 1988, and Carla came into his life with two children, Brett and Christa. Following his coaching career, he started a sales career specializing in commercial roofing. He was hired to open and develop 5 separate territories throughout Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana over the course of his 30 year career.
In 2013, his wife Carla suffered a stroke and Phil retired to care for her. In May of 2016 Phil was called to serve as a Deacon to the members of the South Broken Arrow Baptist Church. He considered it one of the highest honors of his life to serve as a deacon for his congregation.
In November 2020, Carla was called home to be with the Lord after developing COVID. Phil then moved to Corpus Christi to live with his son Mitch and his family. While in Corpus, Phil developed a wonderful group of friends at Yorktown Baptist Church playing dominos twice per week, taught his granddaughter Estella how to drive, went to innumerous volleyball games for his granddaughter Evelyn, and went out every morning to Andy’s Kitchen for his favorite breakfast of sausage, eggs, and coffee. Phil’s life could not have been more rich.
Phil was preceded to his Heavenly home by his parents Eldon and Anna Engle and his beloved wife of 32 years Carla. He is survived by his son Mitchell Engle and wife Carissa (Texas), son Brett Irvine and wife Kristy (Oklahoma), and daughter Christa Irvine (Oklahoma). Grandchildren Estella and Evelyn Engle, Jack and Nick Irvine, Tanner and Tucker McDaniel. Sister Ruth Houghton and husband Carrol (Kansas). Nephews, nieces, extended family and many friends.
A memorial service will be held at Roberts Funeral home in Stilwell Oklahoma on Friday December 9, 2022. Visitation starts at 10 AM with a service to follow at 11 AM.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Phil’s name to one of the following:
South Broken Arrow Baptist Church
South Dakota State University Difference Makers Club