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Chuck and Joy Engvall stand next to an Arcade Creek Neighborhood Association float during the 2015 Red, White and Blue Parade in Citrus Heights. // Image courtesy, Anna Portillo

By Mike Hazlip—
Chuck and Joy Engvall, both remembered as active and involved residents of Citrus Heights for six decades, passed away in April just two weeks apart from each other.

According to obituaries published last month, the Engvalls were married for 71 years and leave behind three children and five grandchildren. Chuck Engvall died April 14, with his wife passing on April 28.

The Engvalls lived in Citrus Heights for 60 years, settling in the area during a time when much of the city was fields, farms, and pastures. The couple were active participants in their neighborhood association, and Joy Engvall was known for writing a “Creek Talk” newsletter.

In 2012, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and Adult Aging Commission awarded the Engvalls as Outstanding Senior Volunteers, and the City of Citrus Heights in 2017 recognized the couple among the “top 20” residents who had lived in the city more than 50 years.

Citrus Heights resident and retired school principal Richard Baron remembers Chuck Engvall from their time working together at various schools.

Baron said he first met Engvall as a college student helping his family’s Newcastle orchard. Baron said he was visiting with his wife’s family in the area when Engvall, then a student at Placer College, came for a visit.

Baron eventually became a school principal, while Engvall taught elementary grades. Over the next decade, the two would serendipitously meet on three different occasions as Engvall and Baron found themselves working together at three different schools.

“Chuck had a way of augmenting a particular lessons with hands-on kinds of activities,” Baron said. “It was a great motivational teaching technique.”

Engvall spent 32 years teaching elementary grades at various schools throughout what is now Twin Rivers school district.

Eventually the Engvalls and the Barons became neighbors after moving to Citrus Heights. Decades later after the city incorporated, Engvall convinced Baron to help organize Area Four, the Arcade Creek Neighborhood Association.

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Area Four residents Anita Follett and Anna Portillo both remember the couple with fond memories.

“The Engvalls accomplished so much for our community and in so doing made many friends along the way,” Follett told The Sentinel. “When called upon, they were there!”

Portillo said she shares an anniversary date with the Engvalls and remembers seeing Chuck Engvall regularly walking in the neighborhood, “full of spunk.”

“It was really sad news that both of them are gone because it just left an empty hole in our community.”

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