Hengel, Mark Francis 91, formerly of St. Louis, died Sunday, March 10, 2013, at home in Olathe, Kan., after a brief illness. Hengel was born October 25, 1921, in Pierre, S.D. graduating from Pierre High School in 1939. Hengel was preceded in death by his wife, Agnes, who died Sept. 29, 2012. They had been married 62 years. A mechanical engineer by profession, Hengel was a railroader, a career that began in 1950 in Danville, Ill., for the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad, which later merged with the Missouri Pacific. He retired in 1986 in St. Louis as head of the mechanical engineering department for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. As an engineer, he designed freight cars of every kind and oversaw their production. He was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. An exceptional craftsman and master mechanic, Hengel amazed his family and friends with his ability to repair motors and build or fix almost anything, skills that would serve him well throughout his years and in the armed services during World War II. The first home he and Agnes owned was one he built himself. Working evenings, weekends and vacations, it took him two years to finish the three-bedroom home from ground breaking in 1958 to completion in 1960. Hengel was drafted into the Army in 1942 and served in the 379th combat regiment with the 95th Infantry Division, which was assigned at different times to the 12th and Third armies during 1944-45 in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, including the Battle of the Bulge. Hengel was a platoon sergeant, earning, a Bronze Star for meritorious service in connection with military operations from 2 December 1944 to 11 January 1945. He was discharged in 1945. Hengel used his military benefits from the G.I. Bill program to re-enroll at the University of Notre Dame, where he had completed one year before the war. He graduated in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Hengel is survived by five children, Robert (Laura) Hengel of Houston; James (Corleen) Hengel of Kansas City; Michael (Brenda) Hengel of Las Vegas; Josephine (Marc) Lawhorne of Columbia, Mo., and Teresa (Henry) Vogt of St. Louis. A sixth child, Sharon Hengel, died in 2007; and eight grandchildren. A sister, Nancy Hengel, died in 1989. Services: Visitation will be 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14, 2013, at Isburg Funeral Home in Pierre, S.D. A funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Friday, March 15, 2013, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Pierre, S.D. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorial gifts be made to the
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Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Mar. 13, 2013