Wayne Edmund Engle, of Pennsburg, passed away on August 21, 2020 of complications related to COVID-19. He was 85 years old. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 48 years, Katherine (“Nan”) Engle.
Born in Reading, he was the son of Edmund and Ruth Engle. He graduated from Ursinus College, where he majored in mathematics. He received a Master’s Degree from Lehigh University before accepting a teaching position at Perkiomen School.
Wayne taught at Perkiomen for over 40 years. For many of those years, he chaired the math department. He also coached tennis, basketball, and soccer.
Wayne’s teaching style was as memorable as it was effective. He encouraged students to work at their own pace. When a student stumbled upon a difficult concept, Wayne would give them a personal “show” on the topic. He incorporated pop-culture references to help his students solve challenging problems. For example, he told students trying to factor quadratic equations to “chop, chop, hop on pop.”
Wayne was known as an iconoclast with a lively sense of humor and a fierce dedication to education. Over 40 years, he never once missed a day of class. When he felt sick, he would lie down on the classroom’s cool, tile floor and teach the entire day supine.
According to many of his students, Wayne was a special teacher who made a life-long impression. Up until his death, he received calls and letters from students he had taught decades earlier expressing their gratitude and recounting his impact on their lives.
After the death of his wife Nan, Wayne began a crusade to clean up the roadways in and around Pennsburg, his home for 50 years. He could be spotted during his seven-mile walks picking up recycling and trash to keep the area beautiful.
Wayne is survived by his daughter Ruth (Adam) and his son Stephen (Lucero).
The family has asked that gifts of remembrance be made to Perkiomen School, 200 Seminary Street, Pennsburg, PA 18073, (215) 679-9511. Services will be held at a future date given the current health crisis.