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Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN) - December 20, 1994
Deceased Name: Mike Engler; was family, investments businessman
In a business where client trust is key, Mike Engler was regarded in the investment securities industry as a man with impeccable ethics.
Before he became involved in stocks and underwriting, Engler developed or managed several Hopkins-area businesses, including the Hopkins Theater and Star Playhouse. His success continued with his partner, Eli Budd, with whom he built an investment business that had offices across the United States.
Engler, 69, died of cancer Monday in Minneapolis.
Engler, of Key Biscayne, Fla., and formerly of Minnetonka, graduated from the old West High School in Minneapolis, and, with his mother's permission, enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He flew 11 bombing missions and received several decorations, including a Victory Medal and Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon Bronze service star.
He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota and worked with his father, Abraham, a pioneer in the movie theater industry who started Engler Family Theaters. He and several relatives started Engler Brothers and Sons, which developed Englers Liquors; Lucky Marine Co., a boat store, and Engler Development Co., which built houses in Minnetonka.
He also co-owned the family's theaters, including the Royal in Hopkins, which he later converted to the Star Playhouse, a showcase for Broadway productions. In the early 1960s he took a year-long hiatus to "really see what he wanted to do," said his wife, Marja.
Engler's accountant then introduced him to Budd, who thought he and Engler would be a great team. Engler always had wanted to go into investments and Budd was getting out of the grocery business, so in a small downtown Minneapolis office in 1961 they started selling over-the-counter local stocks.
The Engler and Budd Co. grew to six offices with more than 200 employees by the time it was sold in 1986. His son, Steven, of Edina, who worked for his father, said he had good business acumen.
"They eventually hired stockbrokers and got into business underwriting," he said.
After he sold the business, Engler continued as an investment counselor with the New York-based Bernard L. Madoff Co. He became ill in July, but continued to manage customer portfolios.
"All of Mike's past experiences and accomplishments created a vast network of people throughout the United States, which helped him to establish what became the most fulfilling and rewarding endeavor of his business career," his son said. "No matter how busy he was, he always was a source of stability and guidance to his family."
Engler was a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers ethic committee, and enjoyed travel, golf, snow skiing and boating. He was a member of Temple Israel in Minneapolis and Oak Ridge Country Club in Hopkins, and supported numerous charities.
Besides his son and wife, he is survived by a daughter, Lisa Greenblatt, of Mill Valley, Calif., and a brother, Harold, of St. Louis Park.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. today at Temple Israel, 2324 Emerson Av. S. Shiva is today and Wednesday at his home. Memorials are suggested to the Mike Engler Fund, care of Sholom Home West, 3620 Phillips Pkwy., St. Louis Park, MN 55426. Arrangements are by Hodroff & Sons Funeral Chapel, Minneapolis.
Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities