Robert Everet Engles, Sr.

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
Herald Democrat

Robert Everet Engles, Sr., M.D. (Dr. Bob) died July 3, 2020 at age 90. Dr. Bob was born in Henryetta, Oklahoma, on Aug. 21, 1929 to Earl Franklin and Lily Lawson Engles. Lily Engles was determined that her boys would escape poverty and saw education as the key to that escape, so the Engles family moved to Cobb, Oklahoma, when Dr. Bob was a child. He attended the Cobb School, graduated with honors from Durant High School in 1946, graduated with an honors degree in chemistry from Southeastern Oklahoma State College in 1950, and received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in 1954. He interned at Wayne County Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, from 1954 through 1955. Dr. Bob fulfilled his military obligation by serving in the Public Health Service. He was assigned to the Center for Disease Control and was stationed at the Texas State Health Department in Austin, Texas, from 1955 through 1957. He completed his training with a residency in general surgery at Methodist Hospital in Dallas from 1957 through 1960, and then returned to Durant in 1961 to join his brothers Raymond and Leroy, and his wife Estelle, in forming the Engles Clinic. Dr. Bob served Durant as a physician and surgeon from 1961 until his retirement in 1999.

Dr. Bob loved to teach and served as a preceptor for senior OU medical students for over 20 years. He served on the OU College of Medicine Admissions Board for many years, was President of the OU College of Medicine Alumni Association in 1971-1972 and was a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. In addition, he was a faithful member of the Durant Kiwanis Club and was elected Citizen of the Year by the Kiwanis in 1998 and 2018.

Dr. Bob is survived by his wife of 57 years, Phyllis Pyrum Engles, his daughter, Ann Engles Vanderburg and son Robert Everet Engles, Jr., daughter-in-law Sandra Hicks Engles, his five grandchildren, Andrew Michael Vanderburg, Juliana Lee Vanderburg, Lindsey Caroline Engles, Brooke Alexandra Engles, and Abigail Nicole Engles, by his sisters-in-law, Marie Engles, Jeanette Engles and Carolyn Pyrum Murphy and husband Joe Ben Murphy, by many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, and by his special furry companions Molly, Thomas and Isabella. He was predeceased by his first wife, Estelle, his parents, Earl and Lily Engles, his parents-in-law, William J. and Blanche Larson Pyrum, his brothers Charles, Raymond, Earl and Leroy Engles and his brother-in-law William Eugene Pyrum.

Dr. Bob was a compassionate physician, skillful surgeon, loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend and a dedicated Christian who lived his life by the Golden Rule and treated every person he met with kindness and respect. He was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church of Durant, Oklahoma. He dedicated many years of his life to reforesting his land north of town, planting thousands and thousands of pine trees over the years and leaving an incredible forest for us to enjoy. He loved OU Sooner football, and time spent with family and friends.

Our family wishes to express special gratitude to the long-term employees of the Engles Clinic who became special friends to Bob and Phyllis, and to Rhonda Grider and Rosita Bailon, for the care and love they have given both Bob and Phyllis these last years.

A celebration of Dr. Bob’s life will be held once we are all able to safely gather together again.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to either the Celebrate Recovery Ministry of the First Baptist Church of Durant, 124 Evergreen St., Durant, Oklahoma 78701; or the Durant Animal Rescue Alliance, PO Box 103, Durant, Oklahoma 74702.

Services are under the direction of Holmes~Coffey~Murray Funeral Home in Durant;