Rolf Julius Engen(1929 - 2018)

August 5, 1929 - July 31, 2018

Rolf Engen passed away peacefully at his home in Laguna Beach, CA, surrounded by his loving family. He was five days short of his 89th birthday.

Rolf divided his time between Laguna Beach, CA and Park City, UT. He and his wife, Carol, purchased a vacation condo in 1979 and by 1982 they had built a home in Thaynes Canyon. He was well known among the tennis community at the then Park City Racquet Club, where as a board member he was instrumental in working with the City to Purchase the Club back in 1981. He called tennis "the sport of a lifetime" and continued to play through his 88th year.

Rolf was raised in Santa Ana, California, where his formative years were characterized by an early work-ethic and participation in athletics. He was a life-long athlete, playing basketball in his youth and then becoming a champion Volleyball player. He was recruited by John Wooden to play basketball at UCLA but following an injury, he switched to volleyball, where he became a member of UCLA's first men's volleyball team. There, he won two National Collegiate Championships and was twice selected a first-team All-American. After college, he was a nine-time USA Volleyball National Open Champion, 10 time All-American and USA Volleyball's Most Valuable Player in 1960. Rolf played on the United States National Team, winning a gold medal at the 1955 and 1959 Pan-Am games and World Games in 1960 and capturing the National Open Gold in 1964. Rolf's accolades include the USA Volleyball's All-Time Great Player Award in 1968, induction into Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1991 and into the Southern California Indoor Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2017.

Seeking a way to give back to the sport, Rolf turned his athletic abilities to the field of coaching. He coached the Laguna Beach High School boys' team and led them to two state championships. He formed the Laguna Beach Volleyball Club and led the team to three gold medals and two silvers at the Junior Olympics from 1975 to 1979. The Laguna Beach Volleyball Club became a model program for youth development and set the standard for future clubs to follow. His contributions to the sport included his service as Commissioner of Volleyball at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
As entrepreneur and businessman, Rolf was respected and revered by his community, customers and employees. Of his many business ventures, "Rolf's Wine & Spirits" was his greatest passion. He opened his first store in Tustin, CA in 1953 and following its success, opened several more in Orange County. Rolf's Wine & Spirits were "game-changer" stores, offering wine education, food and wine events, tastings, custom gift packs, delivery service, exclusive imported wines and private labels, to name a few elements that made Rolf's an innovative retail brand. Traveling to Europe in the 1960's, he became one of the first to import French, German and Italian wines to the Orange County marketplace. Rolf became the face of wine for southern California for 6 decades and well deserved his position as a wine industry visionary and mentor to thousands of wine novices as well as those more experienced.
Beyond his own athletic and business accomplishments, Rolf will be remembered for his mentoring abilities where he inspired hundreds of young athletes and businessmen to learn about life and become the best they could be. Rolf's life was characterized by an insatiable work ethic, big dreams and a love of people. He was an inspiration to those around him and leaves behind a legacy that has drawn tremendous respect and admiration from those who knew him. His leadership and motivation will forever live on in the lives of those he so profoundly touched.

Rolf's warm personality and kindness shaped his role as a husband, father and grandfather. He and Carol, his wife and love of 51 years, were introduced by close friends and their friendship remains to this day. Rolf and Carol shared a love of travel and ventured to many places world-wide. If Rolf could tell you anything, it would be to love your family, maintain your health, dedicate yourself to helping others succeed and most of all "to enjoy the journey."

Rolf is survived by his loving wife, Carol and his children: Hollie Ragland (Greg), Kip Engen (Sherry) and David Engen (Shauna); his grandchildren: Dylan Ragland, Dustin Ragland, Jackson Engen, Thane Engen and daughter-in-law, Glynnis Engen. He is preceded in death by his children, Matthew Engen and Janalea Engen.

To share in a tribute to Rolf, please view a video of his life at

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to National Ability Center (Adaptive Sports and Recreation),1000 Ability Way, Park City, UT 84060., or to the .

Published in The Park Record from Aug. 8 to Aug. 18, 2018