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Avalon Regina Engerer
July 4, 1938 ~ February 15, 2019 (age 80)
Avalon Regina Engerer
7/4/1938 - 2/15/2019
Mrs. Avalon R. Engerer was born July 4, 1938 and grew up in Huntington, NY on the North Shore of Long Island. Her parents were Joseph and Dolores Probst. Avalon had one sibling, Robert J. Probst (Bob) who predeceased her in 2009.
While growing up Avalon enjoyed flying with her parents in their biplane over Long Island. She also loved the ocean and going to the beach. She had a rowboat with an outboard motor and loved to take it out in Huntington Harbor. Avalon always had a sense of adventure and a zest for life.
Avalon graduated Huntington High School in 1956 where she was a Majorette and loved art. Her Senior High School picture is quoted as saying : "Art- First, last & always...Winner of American Legion Poster Contest...Trips the light, fantastic twirling". She attended her 60th High School reunion in 2016 at the Huntington Yacht Club and loved keeping in touch with her classmates.
After high school she attended secretarial school before joining Airborne Instrument Laboratories in the late 1950's as a Technical Illustrator where she met her husband Frederick O. Engerer. They were married on October 23, 1960 at the lovely Thatched Cottage in Centerport, Long Island and resided in Oakdale, NY until 1973.
Avalon was an Instructional Aide at Idle Hour Elementary School in Oakdale, NY. Her vibrant personality and talents were endless. Her students still remember "Mrs. Engerer" and her beautiful artwork that graced the hallways and windows of the school.
She also attended Suffolk County Community College and was a Vacation Bible School instructor at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sayville, NY. She also loved being involved with the local Girl Scout And Brownie Troop of Oakdale, NY.
Avalon loved the ocean and seashore and spent wonderful summers at Barrett Beach, Fire Island, NY with her beloved husband and family. She hand painted the mermaids on the family sailboat "Sea Tanzer" and was Fred's "First Mate." She also loved ceramics and making handmade ornaments for teachers each Christmas.
She continued her love for teaching when they moved to Vista, CA in 1976 and obtained her Associate of Arts Degree from Palomar College in Early Childhood Education & Development. Soon she created and directed an "A.M. / P.M. Program " for children in the Vista School District . She was so very dedicated and passionate about this program. In addition, Avalon also worked with special needs children and was also an influential Instructional Aide at Santa Fe Elementary School in Vista, CA. She retired from Washington Middle School in Vista, CA as an Instructional Assistant in 2001. She dedicated about 30 years of her life to educating and assisting children . Her students loved her and she loved them.
Avalon was adventurous and loved to travel. After her retirement , she traveled to Germany and Switzerland with her husband, Fred Engerer. They also took a Rhine River cruise from Austria to Amsterdam and cruised through the Norwegian Fjords. Avalon took several Caribbean, Transatlantic and Mediterranean Cruises including a family Christmas Caribbean Cruise in 2010. She wanted to see the world and was fortunate enough to have traveled to China, Alaska, Tahiti, Egypt, Israel, Russia and France among other places.
Avalon celebrated 58 years of marriage with Fred on October 23, 2018. Together they sailed the Great South Bay of Long Island, the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean aboard their family sailboat, "Sea Tanzer" (German for Sea Dancer). She has resided in Vista, CA since 1976 with her loving family and is predeceased by her beloved husband, Frederick O. Engerer who recently passed away on January 27, 2019. She is survived by her daughter Avalon B. Yates, (husband Carl), daughter Lorelei L. Engerer, daughter Malinda Grumblatt (husband Jim) and her grandson Colin Jones.
Beloved Wife, Mother and Grandmother
Mom loved art and people, she could never be caught without a smile. Her gorgeous blue eyes were always beaming a sparkle. Perhaps this is what caught Dad's attention when they met while working at Airborne Instrument Laboratories in the late 1950's in Mineola, Long Island, NY. Mom was a Technical Illustrator and Dad was an Electrical Engineer.
Dad formed a Social Republican Club for the AIL coworkers at the Dog & Duck Pub in Sayville, Long Island. His Mission: To meet women. He charged a dollar entrance fee. Dad lived in Oakdale, the South Shore of Long Island, but Mom came from a more affluent area Huntington/Halesite- the North Shore of Long Island. They eventually connected and had their first date. Mom wanted to go to the diner afterwards for a bite and Dad said, "Avalon didn't you have dinner? And, that was a lot for me to spend on gas, to drive all the way from Oakdale to Huntington for a date you know...."
And so their story began. They married on October 23, 1960 at the lovely Thatched Cottage in Centerport, Long Island.
We lived in Oakdale, NY, an enchanted fairytale area called Idle Hour which was a part of the Vanderbilt Estates. This was every child's dream of exploration. It had duck ponds, canals, the Artist Colony, beautiful gardens and a giant brick Clock Tower which was all part of the Estate.
Mom devoted her life to her family and husband. She made every holiday magical for us. Lorelei and I had matching Easter dresses and bonnets with white purses, gloves and patent leather shoes. She made sure we had matching Christmas flannel night gowns with night hats. We will always remember the matching pink & white sailor outfits for summer. Mom made sure her three girls were always dressed properly for every occasion.
In the winter she bundled us up in snow coats and pants. Malinda was just a toddler so you could hardly see her under the scarves and winter hat and mittens. Mom loved to play in the snow with us, make snowmen, take us ice skating and sleigh riding.
One time Mom and I went on a bicycle ride to the duck pond. I was so excited to see the ducks and was on my tricycle. I guess we were both leaning over our bikes a little too far and we both fell in the pond, bicycles and all. We would always talk about that funny day.
Mom loved the ocean and the beach, her blue eyes proved that and glistened in the sun. She took charge all summer while we were docked at Barrett Beach. On the sail over, Mom was down in the galley aboard our Sea Tanzer making those delicious Ham & Swiss sandwiches on Kaiser Rolls from the Idle Hour Deli, while we were under full sail and keeled over. Mom was no sissy as she would often remind us.
Dad had to go back on the ferry during the work week , so Mom really had her hands full with the three of us. She made pancakes dockside on the electric grill, packed up the cooler with sandwiches and drinks and we all marched from the bayside up and over the sand dunes to the ocean. She had a wagon and Malinda sat in it with her little red & white bathing suit, sun hat and matching beach bag. We stayed at the beach all day. Mom never took her eyes off of us. Mom loved collecting sea shells, drift wood and beach glass with us. Then she would pack us all up again and help us shower and change into cozy terry cloth beach robes and shorts.
We were all alone at night aboard Sea Tanzer. Mom made Dinty Moore stew and we loved the Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff that she made in the electric skillet. Mom and I would stay up late and read as there was no TV. Mom bought me every Nancy Drew Book ever written which I read aboard Sea Tanzer.
Lorelei and Malinda slept quietly and were exhausted from every day's adventure. Lorelei & I slept up in the V- Berth, I would keep the hatch and port holes open and peek out and watch the ferries from the Pines & Cherry Grove go back and forth across the Great South Bay in the still of the night. It was so magical. These are such cherished memories with Mom.
Mom loved planning birthday parties for us and her mission was to make them each unique & creative. With her artistic background she made giant piñatas from hand and filled them with candies and goodies for the children. She made a giant green caterpillar one time and everyone was so amazed by it.
Mom had an amazing zest for life and was always ready for an adventure. Mom decided to take us out of school for one month and drive across the United States to see our country. She packed us all up in our new Ford Station Wagon, with Dad behind the wheel and off we went for an incredible adventure. She was an Instructional Aide at our elementary school and before we left she made & painted a giant beautiful colorful mural map of the U.S. at school and put in up in the hallway. She helped the students paint and label each state. It was an educational trip and as we traveled we wrote reports about each state and sent them back to our teachers.
Later we moved to Tiburon, CA in the mid 1970's, Dad went ahead of us and Mom sold and packed up the house. She sure was a trooper as this was not an easy task with three girls, Oma our grandmother and Pal our dog. She did it again, when we moved in 1976 to Vista, CA.
We will never forget the Fourth of July Birthday Party for Mom & Malinda our first year in Vista. Mom & Dad hired a band and they brought Chimpanzees. Dad always said the Band Leader had a crush on Mom. Mom loved parties, entertaining her friends and always made the holidays festive for us.
Mom's wonderful gift came when her loving grandson Colin Jones was born on August 3, 1993. Colin, she loved you to the moon and & back and you are the "apple of her eye". She loved taking you on trips to the Zoo & Wild Animal Park. She is so very proud of you Colin and is always with you.
Mom's outgoing personality and perseverance was a gift to all. In 2000, when Mom & Dad were visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia, it was Mom who literally pushed Dad aboard the Tall Ship Dar Moldziezy to make that infamous 20 day Trans Atlantic voyage race , with his ship placing first!. She scouted all the ships, she knew and supported Dad's passion for the sea and sailing and said, "Fred this is the one you are going on, let's wire the money to secure your berth and cast you off. " This was the kind of person Mom was, never selfish and always encouraging us to live out our dreams.
At the same time Colin & I were visiting Mom's parents at their cabin on Cow Island, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH. This was the first time Colin met his Great Grand parents and he was almost 7 yrs. old. We were overjoyed when we got the call from Mom, that she was coming down to the "Lake "to join us! That was just a wonderful time for Colin to spend with his loving "Granny" and his great grandparents and embrace new adventures together. The "Lake "holds such special memories for us all.
Mom provided endless love & support to all of us. She lived her life for her family. She inspired and always encouraged us. She was our pillar of strength, she was our "Rock". She was so giving to everyone and her spirit was full of kindness and love. She always said, " There is no such word as NO ..and girls...we come from strong stock and we fight and pull up our boot straps if things get rough ''.
Beloved Mom , you are with Dad now and we know you are both sailing together. You have given us so many gifts, your strength, wisdom and love. Thank you so much Mom. We are honored to have had you. Sail on with Dad ,we love you. Forever in our hearts.
Angel on Earth
There is a woman who has spent her whole life taking care of everyone but herself. She puts the needs of others first without thinking of oneself.
This woman is a grandmother who loves caring for her grandson every day. She is a wife who took care of her live-in mother-in-law since the wedding day. She is also the mother of three grown children who realize how blessed they are in each day that has passed. Her students are grateful for every hour she stays after class.
This woman will go out of her way to assist others throughout the day. She once chased after a man that took a purse from a senior citizen who cried, “stop thief”. Unfortunately, the man ran beyond belief.
Another day she was parking by the bay and noticed there wouldn’t be enough room for the person parked in front of her. When she was asked, “That person had plenty of room, why didn’t you stay?” The woman responded, “I’m not like that” and continued on her way.
She can often be heard saying “yes” when she is on the phone. While her family is in the background shouting, “you’re doing too much, it’s time to say no".
This woman is Avalon Engerer, our mother and grandmother like no other.
Our Angel on Earth is now our Angel in Heaven at home again in Gods Kingdom.
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