John Engel

John Engel

Passed away at his home in McLean, VA on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 after a brave three-year struggle with cancer. John was born in New York City to Ann and Ralph Engel on March 8, 1943. He graduated from Phillips Academy Andover, 1961; Yale University, 1965; and Georgetown University Law Center, 1971.

John was with The Rouse Company from 1971-1975, when he joined the law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts and Trowbridge, now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, where he practiced for forty years. He was a partner in the firm’s real estate practice, serving for many years as chair and co-chair. He counseled institutional lenders; local, regional, and national developers; international organizations; and nonprofit institutional clients. John led a team of lawyers in closing the largest single portfolio transaction ever in the Washington area, involving $2.3 billion of real estate assets. But most rewarding to him was the opportunity to mentor so many young lawyers who valued his counsel and friendship throughout their careers.

He has been named in Chambers USA Real Estate DC (2007-2015) and Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law (2006-2017).

John is survived by his wife of 36 years, Gayle Iselin Engel; sons Samuel A. Engel and Maxwell R. Engel, and daughter-in-law Alyssa Walker.

John was happiest at his home in Manchester, Vermont with Gayle, their children, and their dogs. His family, friends, and colleagues all admired John for his strong moral compass, his compassion, and his unique combination of wisdom and intellect, coupled with genuine humility and humor. John was also known for his enthusiasm for cars, motorcycles, and photography, and his love of the outdoors, especially in Vermont.

In addition to Gayle and his children, John is survived by his brother Peter Engel; sister, Barbara Silcott; father-in-law, Alan Iselin; in-laws Harold and Lauren Iselin, and Joanne and Donald Baldini; as well as his many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, January 9 in the chapel at Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb St. NW, Washington, DC. The family has asked, in lieu of flowers, to please feel free to make a donation to places John loved:
Merck Forest and Farmland Center:
The SEED Foundation: