John E. Engstrom

John Engstrom

John Edward Engstrom, age 77, formerly of Des Moines, IA, passed away unexpectedly of natural causes on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 in Sioux Falls, SD. Visitation, with family present, will be Saturday, April 27, 2024 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at St. John’s Lutheran Church 600 6th Ave. Des Moines.  

A prayer service and time of sharing will be held at 10:30 a.m.  Burial of his cremains will take place at 3 p.m. at Amsterdam Township Cemetery in Kanawha, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Food Bank of Iowa. 

John was born on November 26, 1946 in Fort Dodge, Iowa to Edward and Bessie (Nelson) Engstrom. He grew up on the family farm near Kanawha. John was baptized and confirmed at Kanawha Lutheran Church and graduated from Kanawha High School in 1965. He attended Waldorf College for two years and then he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History and Spanish from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. He furthered his education with degrees in Information Processing, Travel and graduate work in History and English as a Second Language. John was also honored to receive the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award in Des Moines.  

John spent most of his career as a teacher. He loved to travel in his spare time, visiting all 50 states and 16 countries. John also enjoyed making photo albums of his adventures and attending family reunions. He lived in Des Moines for 47 years and made many friends there. For the last two years he lived at Trail Ridge in Sioux Falls and really appreciated the Trail Ridge community.  John was a member of the Sons of Norway, the Riceville Jaycees, and CAST (Catholic Adult Singles Together). He collected WWII and Hank Aaron memorabilia and loved watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, Atlanta Braves and Dallas Cowboys.

Grateful for sharing his life are his sisters, Mary Beth (John) Smith and Sarah Abbas; nieces and nephews, David (Tracy) Smith, Mark (Kelly) Smith, Julie Larson (Chris McIntyre), Matthew Abbas, and Stephanie Abbas (fiancé Kevin Lochner); great-nieces and nephews, Caleb (fiancée Brooke), Joshua, Seth, Gavin, Ben, Adelyn, Zoe, and Eli; along with many extended relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Don Abbas.

John will be remembered for his warmth and friendliness and he will be greatly missed by his family and friends.


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