Major James C. Engeldinger
United States Army - Retired
Jim Engeldinger was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.
Having a hard time as a youth, he did what many did at that time; he fudged his birth date and on September 19, 1949 he joined the U.S. Marine Corps.
It seemed like a good idea at the time but then he found himself in the Korea War.
By the time Jim got released from the Corp in 1952, he had risen
to the rank of Sergeant and he returned home with the Korean Service Medal with three Battle stars. He was in the thick of that conflict receiving his first Purple Heart.
From 1952 to 1958 he continued his education and in 1958 he was commissioned to 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served in Alaska and again back in Korea. Perhaps more than many of his peers, Lt. Engeldinger had the back ground to lead the "Bushmasters" Bravo Company when the 4th/47th Infantry Regiment went into the Vietnam War in 1967.
As it so happened, he received his 2nd Purple Heart in Vietnam
and he earned the Silver Star for heroism.
Jim retired as a Major on April 30, 1976.
After retiring from the U.S. Army, he settled in Tucson,
Arizona, where he worked as a car salesman, an actor and in the reposition business.
At a company Christmas party, he met Gianfranca Haury.
"Franca" was Mom to Mark Fleck, who also worked with the same company and he had escorted his Mom along as "his date". One thing led to another and soon, with Mark's encouragement, Jim got his first "date" with "Franca".
That led to an "18 year engagement" with Jim exhibiting all of
the 'Gentleman' qualities that we expect from our officer corp.
Gianfranca and the entire "Fleck" family share the loss of a
person who was perhaps ahead of his time. James Engeldinger remains a great American and a Marine!
James C. Engeldinger
July 6, 1932 - February 13, 2013