Simon Leslie Engel was born June 19, 1940 in Tel Aviv, Palestine (before Israel became a country), the first child of Steven and Rosa Engel, who fled Hungary to avoid the Holocaust. The family fled Hungary again in 1956, during the revolution, and found refuge in Canada. Simon earned his BA from the University of British Columbia in Mechanical Engineering. He emigrated again to the US and became a citizen while working as an engineer at Caterpillar. He became the world-wide expert in Laser welding, cutting and drilling, developing innovative and patented methods for manufacturing. He was the owner and President of his company, HDE Technologies, Inc, which focused on the use of lasers in industry. A world-wide consultant and teacher in the use of laser technologies, he was asked by the University of Wisconsin to teach specialized courses for 34 years. Teaching nearly 7000 students over his lifetime, he also authored 4 technical books as part of his curriculum and 19 professional articles which he presented at many conferences. He was a philanthropist supporting Veterans, the Elk Grove Food Bank, his local Church, and cancer causes. He was known for his love of all types of music, enthusiastically playing the organ for decades. He also loved the outdoors where he developed multiple properties in the foothills, enjoying the serenity of nature.
He is survived by his wife, Merrilee Lewis Engel; sisters, Mary Porth and Liz Engel; 3 children, 6 grandchildren, 3 step children and 3 step grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at Creekside Christian Church in January.