Florence Van Engelen Obituary

Florence  'Sally' Van Engelen
Florence 'Sally' Van Engelen

January 19, 1930 - July 21, 2021
Born in Rupert, Idaho
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Florence Eyvonne (Sally) Campbell Van Engelen

Florence Eyvonne (Sally) Van Engelen, beloved mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, and friend passed away at Wesley Acres in Des Moines on July 21, 2021.

Sally was born on January 19th, 1930, in Rupert, Idaho, to Florence Elizabeth McKissick Campbell and Harold Robin Campbell. She grew up in Idaho and met the love of her life, William Dean Van Engelen, when they were both 16 years old. They married when they were both 19, and together built a life full of family, service, devotion, and adventure.

In the early years of Sally’s marriage, daughters Deana and Debra and son Craig arrived, launching Sally into her most cherished job as mother and homemaker. The family’s beloved home in the country overlooked the Snake River with views of mountains in the distance. During those busy family years, Sally served in leadership positions for her children’s activities, helped at the family business (Van Engelen’s Department Store), and organized many happy gatherings and celebrations with family living in the area. Later, when grandchildren arrived, Sally cherished her role as grandmother. Throughout her life, she created a home full of beauty, laughter, and love.

Sally possessed an intelligent and curious mind. After her children were grown, she completed her degrees, earning a B.A. in psychology and sociology and a M. Ed. with a specialty in the Montessori Method from the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, CA. Sally taught Montessori preschool for a few very rewarding years, but Dean was offered a job in Germany. Sally prided herself on being a good “camp follower,” and the two of them headed to Europe for three wonderful years of travel and adventure. Dean’s work took Sally and Dean to many different places, including California and the Midwest, and everywhere they lived Sally appreciated the new opportunities and made new friends. After retirement, they returned to their beloved Idaho (Eagle) and spent their last twenty years together where they enjoyed time with their four youngest grandchildren and celebrated 62 years of marriage.

Sally was artistic, creative, compassionate, and spiritual. Sally’s artistic creations ranged from beautiful paintings and whimsical handcrafts to colorful gardens and building projects (a tree house for the kids and an A-frame house for the pets—lower level for the dog and upper level for the cats). She was soft-hearted to the cares of others and tried to help whenever she could. Her Christian faith and her membership in the Methodist Church were sources of purpose and strength throughout her life. She was also a long-time member of P.E.O. where she met many cherished friends.

Sally was preceded in death by her dear husband Dean. She is survived by her children Deana Lerner (Dean), Debra Van Engelen (Mark Janz), and Craig Van Engelen (Kristen); grandchildren Aaron Coghlan (Anna), Scott Lerner (Andrew Stroup), David Lerner (Kathryn), Alison Van Engelen, Nathan Van Engelen (Ambrosia Felton), Breanna Van Engelen (Zachary Lopez), and Chance Van Engelen; and great-grandchildren Ahava, Lucas, Hinley, and Johnathan; as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

The family would like to thank Lynda Hills and other special people in the Austin Center and Wesley Acres community for their care and friendship.

A Celebration of Life will be scheduled for a later date. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Eagle United Methodist Church (651 N Eagle Rd, Eagle, Idaho 83616) or to a charity of one’s choice.





Burley, ID Graveside