Damon Lawson Engle, 88, longtime resident of Charleston, West Virginia and Dickinson, Texas passed away in Houston on January 9, 2008.
Damon Engle, the son of five generations of Methodist ministers, was born on June 22, 1919, in Troy, West Virginia. He graduated from Marshall University in 1941 with a degree in chemistry and continued his studies at Ohio State University. He met Joanne Elizabeth Parsons at a young adult fellowship at his father’s church and they were married on June 4, 1943.
His career with Union Carbide began in 1941 with the Works Lab on South Charleston, West Virginia’s Magic Island. In 1942, he was the only lab man on a start-up team for the first polyethylene plant in the United States. He worked the next 20 years with high polymers including polyethylene, vinyl and dynel fibers. By the sixties, he was at the company’s research and development center, eventually becoming the Associate Director. He then managed chemical plants in South Charleston, WV, and Whiting, IN. From 1974 until 1983 he managed the Texas City, TX plant and was operating vice president of four corporate subsidiaries involved with pipelines, off shore platforms, oil service operations, and marine transportation. During his 42 years with Union Carbide he was appointed to task forces by three governors and was a member or director of the Texas Chemical Council, the Texas Research League, Texas Coastal Zone Management Program, American Chemical Society, the American Society for Testing Materials as a section chairman, the University of Houston-Clear Lake advisory board as chairman, and many other community boards. Upon retiring, he was interim executive director of the Houston Business Roundtable, a regional director for the Carbide Retiree Corps for 22 years, and chairman of the Board of Trustees for Armand Bayou Nature Center.
Damon was a dedicated churchman all of his life. He frequently said that the only position in the church that he had never held was President of the Women’s Society. He served as a faithful delegate to the West Virginia, Indiana, and Texas Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church. Nationally, he was a delegate to General Conferences, The World Methodist Council, and the National Council of Churches. He counted many ministers, church leaders, and bishops among his close friends. He held particular love and affection for Christ Church United Methodist in Charleston, West Virginia; and for First United Methodist Church in Houston, where he was named a Lifetime Member of the Administrative Board.
Damon was preceded in death by Joanne, his wife of 59 years; and his daughters Karen Elizabeth Engle and Jan Kriste Blankenship. Surviving are his children, J. Michael Engle of Nashville, TN and wife, Pam; Dan Engle of Houston, TX; and Nanci Engle, also of Houston; five grandchildren: Joshua Kaylor of The Woodlands, TX; Keila Franks of Nashville, TN; Logan Franks also of Nashville; Karen Mandell of Venice City, FL; and Donald Blankenship III of Springfield, TN.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm, Sunday, January 13th at First United Methodist Church – Downtown Campus, 1320 Main Street, Houston, TX, 77002. The Reverend Charles Thompson and Reverend Jan Imig will be officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in the name of Damon Engle to the Armand Bayou Nature Center, P.O. Box 58828, Houston, TX 77258; or to Clarewood House Resident Assistance Fund, 7400 Clarewood Drive, Houston, TX 77036.