Giles L. Engstrom helped to rescue August W. Landergen from burning, Fortuna, California, November 8, 1972. In a highway accident the pickup truck driven by Landergen, 77, landed upside down and caught fire. Landergen, semiconscious, was lying part way through the open door of the cab. Ammunition in the cab was exploding as Engstrom, 40, foundation driller, and another man ran to the truck, approaching to within a foot of flames rising eight feet from the ground. Heat was intense. Engstrom sustained minor burns but neither he nor the other man was struck by projectiles as they pulled Landergen out of the cab, which soon afterward was engulfed in flames. Landergen recovered from his injuries and burns.53071-6023
Giles Leroy Engstrom, age 86, passed away August 22, 2019 at the Oscar G. Johnson Veterans Medical Center, in Iron Mountain, MI due to complications of cancer.
Giles is survived by his sons, Larry Engstrom (Paula) of Crystal Falls, Jerry Engstrom (Brenda) of Show Low, AZ, Vernon Engstrom (Nick) of Alpha, MI, Les Engstrom of Jefferson, OR, and daughters Virginia Schmitt (Bryan) of Jefferson, OR, and Charlene Weber (Steve) of Keota, OK. He is also survived by his sisters, Janet Noel (Art), snow birds between Apache Junction, AZ and Iron Mountain, MI and Darlene Fagotti (Alex), also snow birds, Alpha, MI. and Show Low, AZ. There is also Midge Engstrom (George) with special recognition of Peggy Raisch, Germany. He is also survived by 22 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren. many cousins and nephews. He is also survived by his second wife Faith Carlson-Hall-Engstrom, Greg Hall (Sheri).
Giles was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years Barbara Engstrom, his son Eric Engstrom, his parents Sigvard and Adele Engstrom, his brother George Engstrom, his sister Beverly Noblet (Edwin), one granddaugter Lindsey Engstrom, 3 great-grandchildren, Bailey and Tabitha Jensen and Benson Engstrom.
Giles was a decorated Korean War veteran, having received the Purple Heart for his injuries sustained in Korea, along with 3 bronze stars. He remained active since returning to the states with the VFW and American Legion, holding many offices with both organizations. He also was dedicated to donating money to veterans affairs, attending military reunions world wide. He was also involved with the Lyons club, Elks, and at one time the Vasa Lodge. Giles attended the Forest Park School system prior to enlisting into the United States Army. After returning he was in Santa Barbara where he met and married Barbara. Giles maintained employment in management of copper, iron and gold mines around the United States, and Columbia. He also helped engineer a landing strip in Viet-Nam during that war. He also had a career with the State of California Division of Highways. During that time he and his partner rescued a man from a burning truck exploding with gun shells. For their heroism they received The Carnegie Hero Award and the California Medal of Valour from then Govenor Ronald Reagon. The National Enquirer also did a large write up in their magazine along with a substantial check. Giles enjoyed fishing having caught a trophy Salmon off the California Coast. He also enjoyed lake and river fishing. After retiring and moving back to Alpha, MI he still volunteered service with the VFW and the Alpha Village town board, up until his passing. One of his life long passions was bowling and playing team pool, both of which he was excellent at receiving many awards. He enjoyed grilling on the BBQ, hosting family members and his many friends. Giles never knew a stranger. No matter where he went, he always walked out knowing a new friend. He had no barriers to whom he would accept. Giles was an extreme advocate for veterans, helping many of them research and obtain benefits they weren’t aware of.
Giles loved his family and always found a way to help whomever would ask. Giles (our dad) was loved in return, will be surely missed, and will be thought of often.