Elizabeth (Beth) Miriam Seydel Engel died on Jan. 1, 2018, at age 82 at Oaknoll in Iowa City. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Feb. 3 at Oaknoll (Spring Street wing, fifth floor).
Beth was born to Coletta and Paul Seydel in Watertown, S.D., on April 8, 1935. She graduated from high school in Maquoketa, Iowa, in 1953, where she was Valedictorian. She studied Elementary Education at Cornell College (Mount Vernon, Iowa) following in the footsteps of her parents, who were both secondary school educators. At Cornell she met and fell in love with Bob Engel, and they married on August 21, 1955. While Bob studied at Drew University in Madison, N.J., Beth began teaching in Newark using an "emergency certificate" because she had not finished her teaching degree. They moved to Iowa City in 1958 and Beth commuted to Cornell to finish college. She then taught at Longfellow, Mark Twain, and, after a break of a few years, Helen Lemme school from 1972 until she retired in 1997.
Beth and Bob loved to travel and visited every continent at least once. After retirement, she followed Bob to band camps across North America. They loved the performing arts, and Beth enthusiastically welcomed the new Hancher Auditorium. She appreciated visual beauty, both artistic and natural, and loved to grow flowers, even in her last year. Together with Bob, she supported many humanitarian causes. For example, she was an early volunteer at the Iowa City Crisis Center.
Survivors include four sons, Jeff (Mai-Lei Chen) Engel of Macomb, Ill., and their children Tom, Richard, and Anna; Craig (Catherine Quehl-Engel) Engel of Mount Vernon, Iowa, and their daughter Rachel; Bradley (Dena) Engel of Tucson, Ariz., and their children Carter and Andrew; and Daniel Engel of Iowa City. Beth was preceded in death by her husband Bob; and her brother Dick Seydel.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift in Beth's name to the Iowa City Crisis Center, the Iowa City Shelter House, or Cornell College.
Condolences may be left for the family at www.lensingfuneral.com.