Corey Engen, the last surviving brother of a trio of Norwegian immigrants who popularized skiing in the Intermountain West, has died. He was 90.
Engen died Tuesday in his sleep of complications from pneumonia at a nursing home in Provo, said a granddaughter, Deborah Engen Snyder of Louisville, Colo.
Engen, a ski jumper and cross-country skier in Norway, followed his older brothers to Utah in 1933, arriving with their then-widowed mother.
He was captain of the U.S. Olympic Nordic team in 1948. He didn't win any Olympic medals the U.S. has won only two Nordic medals in Olympic history, in 1924 and 1976 but collected 22 gold medals in national master's and seniors competitions.
He taught skiing in the early years of Sun Valley Resort in Ketchum, Idaho, and was a partner who in 1961 helped developed and managed Brundage Mountain Ski Area in McCall, Idaho. He also taught skiing at Snowbasin ski area near Ogden, Utah, where he coached the Weber State College ski team.
He was inducted into the U.S. National Ski Association Hall of Fame, in 1973.
His older brothers died before him, also in Utah.
Alf M. Engen, a one-time U.S. Ski Team coach who ran Alta's ski school from 1948-88, died in 1997 at age 88, said Connie Nelson, executive director of the Alf Engen Ski Museum in Park City.
Sverre Engen, another Snowbasin ski instructor who also coached the Weber State team, died in 2001 at age 90, she said.
"These legends, the Engen brothers, have done a tremendous amount for skiing," said four-time U.S. Olympic gold medal winner Stein Eriksen, 78, skiing director at Utah's Deer Valley Resort.
"Their old movies showing powder skiing did nothing but inspire people all over the world. They have been beautiful representatives of a sport that is good for the soul, good for the body and good for family enjoyment," said Eriksen, another immigrant from Norway.
Corey Engen, born March 30, 1916, kept a lower profile than his brothers, who also were inducted into the National Ski Association Hall of Fame.
"Dad was not a rah, rah guy or loud," said his son, David Engen, a slalom national champion in 1962. "He had a quiet, consistent teaching approach, always with encouragement. He would look at us and say, 'You can do it.' He knew we could, and we knew we could because he had helped us do it hundreds of times before."
The Engen brothers were masters at teaching, coaching and producing national ski champions and running ski areas.
"It's sad that kids of this generation didn't get to meet the three brothers," said Barbara Amidon, chairwoman of the Utah Ski Archives advisory board. "When I was growing up (in Pocatello, Idaho), they were bigger than life. They were my idols."
Corey Engen married Norma Bleak in 1938; she died in 2002. They are survived by a daughter, Carol Beus, of Washington, Utah; a son, David, of McCall; eight grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
On the Net:
Alf Engen Ski Museum: www.engenmuseum.org
National Ski Hall of Fame and Museum: www.skihall.com