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Hans P. Mengering

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Hans Paul Mengering

89, a resident of Carmel, died peacefully Tuesday morning (March 12, 2013) after a long illness and a remarkable life.

Mr. Mengering, who died nine days short of his 90th birthday, retired as a structural engineer from Bohlen, Meyer and Gibson, the Indianapolis architectural firm founded by a German immigrant in 1853 and for which Mr. Mengering's father also worked. He graduated from Purdue University after serving in the Army in World War II.

His time in the war in Africa, Italy and France as part of the 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, indelibly shaped Mr. Mengering.

In a mission that helped liberate France, Mr. Mengering was part of a 40-glider assault outside Ste. Mere Eglise in the hours before D-Day in June 1944. Heavy anti-aircraft fire riddled the gliders, which were delivering guns and other supplies, and most, including the one Mr. Mengering rode in, crash-landed behind enemy lines. He was left for dead, among the numerous casualties of the 319th, but then was rescued and earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. He lived with the effects of his severe injuries the rest of his life, but that did not deter him from living that life to the fullest.

He traveled extensively after the war, worked tirelessly and also took care of his parents, Otto and Gertrud Mengering, until their deaths. His work at Bohlen, Meyer and Gibson, responsible for many landmark edifices in Indianapolis including the City Market, included designing the building that housed new presses for the Indianapolis Star.

In 1983 he married Dorothy Hofert Letterman, and he and his bride continued traveling during retirement, including to three winter Olympic Games in Norway, Japan and Utah, where Mrs. Mengering reported on events on camera for her son's Late Show and Mr. Mengering enjoyed his role as her chief cheerleader and travel companion.

With his marriage, Mr. Mengering gained two daughters, a son and five grandchildren. He was fond of trips to see all of the grandchildren, making many Florida Gulf Coast vacations out of visits after two were born there. He loved to walk the beach and hunt for seashells with Mrs. Mengering.

He was a longtime member of the Meridian Hills Kiwanis Club, and he enjoyed mentoring a student at Greenbriar Elementary School. He was a member of Second Presbyterian Church, where he was active with the men's group and several committees.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Mengering is survived by family members: Jan Millholland of Carmel and her children Bryn and Rob Mooth of Cincinnati and Bill Millholland and Terry Groff of Chicago; David Letterman and his wife, Regina Lasko and their son, Harry, of New York; and Gretchen Letterman and her husband, Bill Shelton and their children Annagrace Shelton and Liam Shelton, St. Petersburg, Florida.

The family wishes to thank longtime family assistant Emily Rockwood for her loving care, and the care-giving team at Clare Bridge of Carmel, especially Neil Embry.

Public visitation will be at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, with a memorial service at the church at 1:30 p.m. Burial will be immediately after the service at Crown Hill Cemetery.

Arrangements by Flanner and Buchanan - Broad Ripple .

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Mar. 13, 2013
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