Carmel community pillar Jim Engledow dies at 66


Jim Engledow, a “true champion of parks and the Carmel community,” died Aug. 2. Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation Director/CEO Michael Klitzing sent an email Aug. 3 alerting former park board members of the news.

The cause of death was not announced.

Engledow, 66, served on the Carmel Clay Board of Parks and Recreation from 2001 to 2020, including eight years as president.

“He was an incredible leader, a voice of reason and wisdom, and made such an incredible impact on the park system,” Klitzing stated. “It seems unfathomable that he is no longer with us and will be truly missed.”

Engledow graduated from Carmel High School and Wabash College, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He was president of the Engledow Group, a commercial and residential landscape design firm headquartered in Carmel. 

Engledow’s obituary describes him as being intensely loyal to the firm and proud of his colleagues. Besides his service to Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation, he was a board member of the Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home Foundation and had been named Most Valuable Volunteer of the Year by the Carmel Clay Chamber of Commerce.  He received a Sagamore of the Wabash award from former Gov. Mike Pence.

Engledow was described as loving his large family. He was known as “Pop” to his grandkids.

(He) liked nothing better than cruising Walloon Lake as captain every summer with them aboard,” his obituary stated. “He bled Red for his Wabash, filling frequent alumni roles and rooting the Little Giants through lots of exciting football seasons.  Jim was a loyal lifer in Wabash’s Beta Theta Pi chapter, serving on house boards and wherever else help was needed.  He treasured his lifelong friendships with his Beta Brothers and their families. Jim led a full life both professionally and personally.”

Engledow is survived by his wife, Elaine; sons, Eric (Nasha), Craig (Laura) and Kirk (Lisa Cash) Engledow; father, Jack Engledow; grandchildren, Caleb Essick, Sophie, Henry and Avery Engledow, Claire and Sydney Engledow, Sydney, Taylor and Peyton Cash; sisters, Susan Engledow and Beth Knapik; brother, Michael (Jennifer) Engledow.  He was preceded in death by his mother, Nancy Engledow.

Engledow’s memorial service is at 11 a.m. Aug. 9 at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, 1605 E. 106hth St. Calling hours are 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 8.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home, Wabash College or the Carmel Clay Parks Dept.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Engledow family and all those who were touched by and fortunate to know Jim,” Klitzing wrote. “CCPR plans to honor Jim’s legacy at one of his favorite parks at a later date.”