William Dennis Engs passed away at Loma Linda University Hospital Medical Center in California on July 2, 2021. He was the son of the late Mildred and William Engs of Chatham.
He was born in Oakland, California, in 1932 and grew up there and in Rye, New York. In 1954 he graduated from Harvard University and served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1954 – 1956.
He earned an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1959 and a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Oregon in 1972. His doctoral dissertation investigated the impact of pulp mill odor on local communities.
He was a professor at Fort Lewis College in Colorado, Washington State University, and California State University, San Bernardino. Later in life he was a performance improvement consultant and an adjunct professor with Chapman University. When at Cal State he was awarded a life membership in the local chapter of the American Society for Training and Development for his leadership.
Dr. Engs lived in Crestline, California, in the San Bernardino Mountains, for 40 years. He was a member of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team and served several terms as president of the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust which is dedicated to preserving forest lands by acquisition.
He backpacked and climbed in the West all his adult life. He was a leader of 17 Sierra Club National (backpack) Outings and over the years personally completed over 390 backpack trips. He led local Sierra Club hikes, climbs, backpacks, trail work parties and bird walks and also taught Sierra Club classes in wilderness skills and in outings leadership. He received the Sierra Club San Gorgonio chapter award for outings leadership in 2007. In 2018, he was honored for leadership in the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust and the Sierra Club with a stone carving at the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust Arrowhead Ridge Preserve in California.
He acquired his FCC amateur radio license at age 14 and kept it in force. He served with the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) which provides emegency radio communication.
While in Chatham, he was a member of the Eldredge Public Library memoir writing group and in 2016 published a book of 110 memoirs.
He is survived by a sister Elisabeth Engs Mosser of Chatham, a nephew W. Michael Mosser of Brooklyn, New York, a niece Lauren M. Thonus and husband Christopher of Harwich, and a great-niece Allison E. Thonus and a great-nephew Alexander F. Thonus also of Harwich.
Donations in Dr. Engs memory may be made to the Sierra Club.