John Ernest Dengel

John Ernest DengelIt is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Ernest Dengel of Chatham, formerly of St. Clair Beach and Windsor at the age of 95. John was born in Romania on August 11, 1925 and emigrated to Canada at a young age with his sister, Erna, and his parents. John’s education led him down the path of electrical engineering but when WWII broke out he enlisted in the Navy and served until the end of the war, proud to have fought in the Battle of the Atlantic.

John was a fine Collegiate athlete in track and his first love football.  In his football career he played for the Windsor Rockets and then he signed with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League in 1949.  He played 2 pre-season games with the Lions and then moved on to join the Ottawa Roughriders later in 1949 where he played 3 seasons for the Roughriders.  

John was also an avid fisherman and loved to spend time out on the boat locally and at the cottage in Kipawa with his loving wife, Charlotte, family and friends.  More recently many trips to Ludington, Michigan for more fishing and family adventures were enjoyed immensely.

John was a longtime member at Beach Grove Golf and Country Club where he excelled at golf and shared his love of the sport with Charlotte, all his children and some of his grandchildren. To the envy of many golfers, John takes pride in having 6 Holes in One…a great feat in golf.  His son, John, made his career in the golf industry as a result of his introduction to the game.

John was a hardworking man and a proud owner of the Canada Tavern in Windsor for many years.  He loved time spent with people.  He also was involved in Harness Racing for years as an owner of horses and son Danny shared in this endeavor with his father.  In later years John enjoyed a shorter career in Real Estate. John was also a very handy man.  He could fix anything and he enjoyed woodworking “crafting” many smaller pieces of furniture and accents for family members. 

John’s proudest accomplishment is his family.  He always had lots of stories to tell about his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and spending time with family and sharing in their sports, school and daily life brought him his greatest joy.  John and Charlotte enjoyed 55 years of marriage before her passing.  

John is survived by his children, Kathy Vatcher of Toronto, John Dengel, wife Christine of Chatham, Karon Martel, husband Brian of Walled Lake Michigan, Patricia Dengel, husband John Angotti of Belle River and Timothy Dengel, wife Charlene of Milford, Michigan.  Predeceased by his loving wife, Charlotte (nee Sheldon) and son Dan Dengel, wife Barbara of St. Louis, Missouri.

John was also so proud of his grandchildren, Sarah Weber, Hilary Dengel Choi (Danny), Rachael Dengel, Michael Martel (Laura), Jonathan Dengel (Stacie), Malynda Boismier (Adam), Katie Martel, Georgia Vatcher, Timothy Dengel, Bernadette Dengel and Bobby Dengel. John is also blessed with 9 great grandchildren and another little Dengel due next week.  Gramps will be dearly missed by Adesynn and Reagynn Weber, Daniel Choi, Brady, Miller and Calvin Martel, Daphne Dengel and Grayson and Jonah Boismier.

At this time the family is planning a private online celebration and will plan a Celebration of Life for family and friends at a later date. The Dengel family would like to express deep thanks to the staff of Chatham Kent Health Alliance for their expertise, care and compassion over the last few days and providing welcomed support to our family. We would also like to thank the caring staff of Chatham Retirement Residence for all they have done for John since he made this wonderful venue his home in January of 2020. Memorial donations can be directed to Pet And Wildlife Rescue Chatham  in honour of John’s cat, Buddy. Arrangements entrusted to Life Transitions Burial and Cremation Service Inc. 

29 Comments on “John Ernest Dengel”

  1. Our deepest condolences John & Chris & family. Our thought and prayers are with you all.
    Love Ginnie & Ray

  2. Our sincerest sympathy to chris, John and all the family on the loss of your father, grandfather and a wonderful human being. For now your memories will bring tears but as time moves on you’ll have some amazing stories to recall and you’ll always be enveloped in his love. Thoughts and prayers to you all. So wish we could all connect, but some day soon! Much love. Heather and beth fox.

  3. What an incredible life and phenomenal man! He always made me feel special every time we met. I am blessed to have known him.

  4. So sorry for your loss we will miss his smile and stories here at BeachGrove golf and country club. I met him and his wife 20 yrs ago when I started here such wonderful human beings.

  5. Dear Dengel family,
    Ken and I are sorry for your loss.
    We would see him at Maple City Country Club.
    What a great man he was . Always with a joke and a smile.
    He will be missed by many.

  6. Dear Kathy, you spoke so lovingly of your dad, I am so sorry, you will miss him very much.

  7. Karon ,Brian and family. My prayers are with all of you ! Your dad was a great man ! My family enjoyed spending time with gramps over the years and his many stories as well as his love for his family. Kelly Ruggirello and family

  8. John, Chris and family, So sorry about your Dad! He lived an incredible life! Very nice tribute! Pam Shepley

  9. I have so much admiration and respect for John “ Papa John” Dengel! He was a great influence for Chris and Emily, always a joke and a smile, and I cherished our friendship! My fondest memory, he treated me to lunch at Beachgrove after Arsene passed and we toasted, to Arsene and Danny!! Now he’s playing cards with them and hugging his true love Charlotte!❤️ Love to all, Bonnie

  10. John, Chris & family,
    Your Dad certainly left you with many fond memories and stories to share, a few of which AlB told me.
    He lived an amazing, full life. You must be so proud.
    Know that I am thinking of you and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Liz Baker

  11. Morris, Cindy Cimoroni & family; Our sincerest condolences at this sad time. So many wonderful memories to cherish.

  12. To the Dengel Family: I was so surprised and saddened to hear of Mr. Dengel’s passing. His passing certainly marks the end of an era. And so difficult during our Covid times. I have fond memories of your family while growing up and he actually helped me when I bought my first house. I will always remember the twinkle in his eye, his smile and his crazy jokes. I know the Chatham lunch boys ( Mike, Tony, George) were waiting to greet him , along with his cherished Charlotte and Danny. Sending you all love and prayers. There are many who will mourn the passing of such a fine Gentleman.
    Susan (Bula) Lucas

  13. Dear family, it is with great sadness that I read about the passing of your father grandfather and great grandfather John. I am the part-time receptionist at Chatham retirement and we all sure enjoyed his time with us… RIP. Hugs, Annette Blair

  14. Big John was and always will be an inspiration to me.
    I offer my sincerest of condolences to the family.
    Rest Heavenly Sir!

  15. John, Chris, and Family,
    Our deepest sympathy for your loss. Wishing you peace with those wonderful stories of a life well lived.
    Jen, Brian, Carsen, and Ava

  16. John, Chris & family:
    My most sincere sympathies to your family. John was certainly a very positive person which contributed to his successful life. I had the pleasure of doing business with him on a real estate transaction back in the 80’s. He was a real gentleman and always enjoyed talking to him over the years.I am sorry for your loss.

  17. John & Chris
    Sorry to read of your Dad’s death. What a wonderful & long life he had!
    Elaine Hook

  18. John served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War and was a veteran of the Battle of the Atlantic. John served as a Petty Officer, Electrical Articifer on board HMCS Carlplace and HMCS Swansea escorting convoys from Scotland to Gibraltar and return. While on Carlplace, his ship was attacked by enemy submarines and they managed to fend off the attack. While on Swansea, his ship escorted two enemy submarines that had surrendered, to Gibraltar. John served ashore at HMS Niobe and HMCS Stadacona in Halifax Nova Scotia where he played football for the “Stad” team. After his release from the Navy, John played professional football. John is remembered by many of us who frequented the Canada Tavern in our younger days (maybe even under 21). He was always there, willing to talk, especially to young sailors. John joined the Essex Kent Naval Veterans Association in 1963 (Member Number 74) as one of the original founding members of the association, which would later become the Royal Canadian Naval Association (RCNA). John always attended the annual Battle of the Atlantic Dinner, Parade and Memorial Service in honour of his Shipmates “Who Crossed the Bar”. You will be missed. “REST in PEACE, SHIPMATE”

  19. John, to you and your family I send my deepest condolences on your Father’s passing. He led a full and interesting life and deserves many thanks for his service in the Navy. May he Rest in Peace.

    Bill Bentley

  20. John, Chris and Family

    So sorry to hear of John’s passing. I enjoyed reading about his long life. I had no idea that he played in the NFL – amazing
    Wishing you and your family peace at this time.

  21. Dear John, Chris and Family

    So sorry to hear of Johnny Sr’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Cherish the many memories you will have forever in your hearts. Thinking of you!

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