Robert Stephen Engel, Sr.
January 19, 2015

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  Robert S. Engel, Sr. CEO of Air Purchases of NH/Delta T., A wholesale Heating and Refrigeration supplier passed away unexpectedly on Monday morning, January 19, 2015. He was 80 years old. Bob was born in Somerville, the son of the late William and Mabel Engel. He grew up in Somerville graduating from St. Joseph’s School and Somerville High School. He furthered his education at Suffolk University. Bob also served in the Army as a Specialist Third Class during the Korean War.

In 1969 Bob founded with his brother Frank and Bob Fratus, Air Purchases. Bob’s dream was to be self-employed and he wanted to control his own destiny. In 1987 Bob went off on his own founding API of New Hampshire/Delta T. based in Manchester New Hampshire. Bob was an extremely motivated business owner who described himself as tough, but fair. He was willing to put everything on the line to achieve his goals. He loved his employees and often sought their input and advice on what would be best for the company. He grew his company from a small building in Manchester to offices and warehouses in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine. One of his greatest attributes was how well Bob created relationships with customers and his employees. Bob was a bit of “Old School” in that his business was more than just profits, it was about trust. He serviced his customers with respect and fairness and was always willing to go the extra mile if someone had an emergency or needed a helping hand. Bob was well known for his discussions held on the couch in his office which were known as the “Couch Trip”. It was simple for Bob, treat your customer’s right and they will always come back. He considered his business a family and was blessed to have all five of his children working with him and another 100 extended family members in his employees. He was a great leader and mentor and he was confident that his business, that he put his heart and soul into, would continue to thrive with his children at the reins.

Bob was always about his family. While at work, he was the boss, but when he got home everyone knew that his wife, Carol was in charge. He adored her and they shared so much over their 63 years of marriage. They started with nothing and grew a family business as well as loving children and grandchildren. Bob shared his love of sports with his children and grandchildren. Winters were spent skiing with family and friends. They skied all over New England, the United States and Europe. The warm weather was dedicated to tennis. He supported his children in their sports, activities, education, and interests. He was a strong role model and someone that his children did not want to disappoint. He enjoyed seeing his family grow with his 11 grandchildren and following them in their baseball, football, hockey and other activities and sports. In the later years, his summer home in Harwich was the gathering spot for all his family where they could enjoy the beach and each other’s company. Bob will be remembered for his strong work ethic, humility, vision, generosity, and love and commitment to his family, friends, employees and customers.

Bob was the loving husband of Carolyn “Carol” (Davis). He was the loving father of Robert S. Jr. & his wife Colleen of Tyngsborough, Stephen F. & his wife Patricia of Stratham, NH, Cathy A. Cowles & her husband Jeffrey of Georgetown, Patricia A. McCann & her husband Richard of Burlington and William J. & his wife Mollie of Hingham. He was the brother of Frank of Winchester, Florence Flynn of Woburn and the late Mary Engel. Bob was the proud grandfather of Kelly, Bob III, Sean, Lauren, Andrew, Brendan, Margaret & Addison Engel and Austin, Christian & Jeffrey Cowles.

Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side) on Friday, January 23 from 4-8 p.m. and Saturday, January 24th from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Interment in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. Memorials in Bob’s name may be made to People Helping People, PO Box 343, Burlington MA 01803 or Perkins School for the Blind, Perkins Trust, 175 North Beacon St., Watertown, MA 02472.
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