1920 - 2007
This is one of the most difficult emails I've ever had to write. "Stan the Man" Engdahl passed away early this evening from a massive heart attack while overseeing a house fire in Marquette today. Stan had been the fire chief in Marquette for many years. Words cannot begin to tell you the great loss we are feeling today. Please keep LaVona in your thoughts and prayers. As soon as I know the date, time and place for Stan's funeral, I will send out another mass email. It is our hope and prayer that the Kansas Patriot Guard can be called up to help us honor Stan on the day of his funeral. The Board of Directors for the Kansas Motorcycle Museum will do all we can to help the Patriot Guard with this endeavor. Thank you for all your prayers...
President, Kansas Motorcycle Museum Board of Directors
From a post on the flat track forum Nov 14th by CR racing
Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, November 16, at the Elm Lutheran Church, Marquette, KS.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the fellowship hall at the church, with the family present from 6 to 7 p.m.
Burial will be in Marquette Lutheran Cemetery.
Just got word that one of the LEGENDS of all time died I believe today near his home in Marquette, Kansas. He was a fireman and went out to make a fire call and collapsed.
Stan "the Man" Engdahl was over 70 years old and raced from the early 50's all the way up into the 80's. He raced AMA PRO as an Expert many years in dirt track and road racing. Stan was instrumental in getting the AMA going in the midwest in Amateur racing and in fact his Salina Coyotes Motorcycle Club put on races at the famed Kanaopolis Lake TT track for many years. They also hosted the AMA Amateur Nationals the year that Chris Carr raced.
Stan was very instrumental in the Kansas Motorcycle Museum located in his old TV and Radio Repair buildings. It is a neat museum with all kinds of race bikes as well as street bikes. Many of Stan's trophies adorn the walls of the museum as well as his KR's and riding clothes along with many a photo.
Stan Engdahl #46m and #1 ride free in Heaven you were definitely one of my Legends!
I had the very good fortune of visiting the Kansas Motorcycle Museum this last summer and meeting Stan.
He was very gracious and giving of his time and memoirs. He truly was a legend of American motorcycling.
His dedication to the city of Marquette and the Kansas motorcycle enthusiasts has resulted in a very significant motorcycle museum.
Stan was one of a kind and he was the same last month as I remember him when we first met 40 years ago at that dusty old TT track southeast of Wakeeny.
Always a grin, never a disparaging word. Our condolences to Lavonna and family.
Dan and Sheryll
God Speed Stan. You will be remembered by many not only as a racer but a humanitarian.
MARQUETTE, Kan.-- Monday was Stan Engdahl's kind of day.
He spent the morning at the Kansas Motorcycle Museum on Main Street, talking to anyone who happened through the door.
Then, as McPherson County District No. 2 fire chief, he answered a fire call at 3:53 p.m.
But just as the small stove fire was under control, the 78-year-old stepped out of the house and collapsed. He died of a massive heart attack before the emergency medical crew could get him to the hospital in Lindsborg.
"He had a delightful day," said Marquette public librarian Donna Elvin, "doing what he loved."
The town's library sits across from the motorcycle museum; Engdahl and Elvin would see each other every day.
On a corner of Main Street in this town of fewer than 600 residents, the museum is the big draw, attracting tourists from all over the country and world, Elvin said.
The museum was once home to Engdahl's radio and TV repair business. On weekends, he would race motorcycles.
The hobby grew into an obsession over 47 years, and "Stan the Man" became a five-time national racing champion.
"He was a motorcycle nut," said a cousin, Linda Crosby. She recalled that as a young child she was afraid to play outside her home for fear he'd come flying past on his motorcycle.
Hundreds of Engdahl's trophies fill the museum, which opened in 2003. He and his Marquette High School sweetheart, LaVona Loomis, staffed the nonprofit museum seven days a week.
"She was going to open the museum today," said Rochelle Hamilton, a board member of the Kansas Motorcycle Museum. But she had to make funeral plans.
"He had it all," Hamilton said. "He was in his element. How many of us get to do what we love all our lives? He did."
Hamilton moved to town two years ago from Kansas City and knew nothing about motorcycles, but she became fascinated by Engdahl, whom she described as a "legend."
His energy rubbed off on her.
"We'll miss his personality, smile, twinkle in his eye, and his stories," she said. "We never heard all his stories."
Like the time he won a motorcycle race with a broken leg. He just tied it to the bike for safekeeping.
A passionate man, he also loved fighting fires. Ask anyone on Main Street and they'll tell you Engdahl had been the town's fire chief "forever."
Volunteer firefighter Max Hauck narrowed it down to more than 20 years.
"I rode with him on fire runs all the time," Hauck said, standing by the chief's empty cubicle at the fire station, now void of his bunker gear.
"This was his pride and joy," Hauck said, patting the door of a large, tank-like firetruck. "He fixed it up. We drove to a lot of fires in this."
Hauck thought the chief, who had been walking with a cane, had been feeling good.
"He came out of the house, took a step, and collapsed. We did CPR. We got him to breathe again, but he didn't make it to Lindsborg."
We sure miss racing around Kanopolis.
Still remember 15 lap "KMSA Classics" on Independence Day, sure was hot and humid!!
Some of the older guys will remember the AMA Amateur National TT races held there, also.
The museum is one of those things you just have to go see. As you said, there are bikes and other items in there you will never see anywhere else.
Did they have the old racing footage running while you were there? I have a copy on DVD and it brings back some fond memories.........
n 1980 we went to the AMA Amateur T.T.in Marquette,Ks.The first person I met was Stan. He had a T.V. store on the main street, or should I say that's what it looked like. Inside was a few T.V.'s on the left side of the store, but on the right side ofthe building there was nothing but rifles and trophies. The whole wall was filled up from the front of the door to the rear. Down the steps behind the cash register was a complete motorcycle shop. Dynos,motorcycles(Harleys KR"s)everyting you could think of out here in the middle of Kansas. Stan had to be one of the coolest guys I ever came across while we were racing anywhere. Not only was the T.T.track around the lake his deal, it was oiled dirt, on a State Park no less. All the track equipment belonged to the State, and he had full use of it. He was also the Fire Chief I guess because he had to show me his fire truck. It was a U.S Air Force crash truck that Stan said could do 30-40 mph, and spray 100 feet to the side, in a wheat field fire. Unreal.If you had any welding(pipes,frames,etc)he would not take any money period.It was the best Amateur Nationals I have ever to.Chris Carr, Arron Hill, Steve Hill all got number 1 plates.There's more stories about Stan that are to long to tell here, but what a gentleman. If you visit ask him to tell you about hemp growers.