John Charles Englert
February 20, 1946 – February 3, 2019
John Charles Englert, Jr. lived in Hawaii, upstate New York and in 1982 became a California resident of the Santa Ynez Valley and, in the last few years, of Vandenberg Village until recently moving to Sun City West, AZ. He passed away on February 3, 2019 having suffered a brief illness. He was 72. Born in Bronx, New York to John and Ruth Englert, he was later raised in Sierra Madre, California with brothers James, Thomas and sister Jean. As an altar boy with a penchant for troublemaking and fierce independence, John lived the new SoCal life of rock and roll, fast cars and surfing with his friends. Facing the prospect of conscription, he joined the US Army Special Forces as a Green Beret in the early Vietnam War and sustained major injuries that he carried evermore as a disabled veteran. Later, he earned his Bachelors and then Masters degrees in Mathematics from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and State University of New York Albany, respectively. John met his wife and life-partner Catherine in Hauula, Hawaii in 1974, while living there as a single father of three. They were together for the next 45 years raising their children Constance, Lisa, Jeffrey, Blake and Justin in their circle of love. An accomplished mathematician and life-long educator, John taught advanced courses in his career and was the head of two boarding high school math departments. At retirement he continued to bring math to life in his Los Olivos-based Englert Mathematics Tutelage. Rock climbing, guitar playing and surfing were passions enjoyed his entire life with many “dawn patrols” at Refugio Beach and along Highway 101 in his own modified surfer camper/van, formerly a flower delivery van. He enjoyed golfing with his youngest son and in the last six months started to skateboard. He was known for his brilliant mastery of esoterica, as well as a voracious and eclectic appetite for books, solitude, exquisite gardening and Zen landscaping, wood carving, homemade rock climbing walls, astronomy and playing lead guitar to the music of his rock idols Bowie, Clapton and Hendrix. The ultimate Renaissance man, at the time of his passing he was building a greenhouse made of recycled bottles. One of John’s greatest joys were his eight grandchildren Victoria, Parker, Molly, Emily, Colton, Mailyn, Eva and Aliya, all bright stars in the constellation of his life. At Refugio Beach, where he surfed for nearly the last four decades, a Taps memorial and a scattering of his ashes will take place in September.