March 18, 1963 – March 10, 2017
John Peter Engbrecht was born on March 18th, 1963 in Hayward, California and passed away on March 10th, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pete was the 3rd child of Henry and Robena Engbrecht and with his 2 older sisters, Sharon and Susan, lived in California, Oregon, Texas and then Illinois where he graduated from high school.
Growing up in the Chicago area, Pete faithfully followed the Chicago Cubs and was known to listen to the radio broadcast of games through all their
years as “loveable losers”. The Engbrecht family were all musically inclined and Pete played violin growing up and then later learned the bass, mandolin and guitar. When the siblings got together as adults they enjoyed singing and Pete would sing bass and baritone while his sisters sang soprano and alto.
Pete, like his sister Susan, graduated from Point Loma College in San Diego. He went to work for Kettenberg Marine in the shipping department and became proficient sending boat parts all over the world. His supervisor was an interesting individual with a colorful vocabulary which Pete could imitate bringing everyone to laughter.
When Kettenberg closed in 1993 after 60 years in business, Pete moved to San Francisco to work for Ark Media. At Ark Pete applied his shipping knowledge to send educational videos, DVDS and CDs to stores, libraries and museums. You could name almost any state and Pete would know of a library or museum who was a customer. Pete joined Glide Memorial Church and was active in their social service programs. He helped out in the kitchen for Glide’s free meal service and was also on the team that welcomed new members to Glide every Sunday. Pete loved Glide and the chance that it gave him to offer help to others.
In 2014 Pete was diagnosed with myelofibrosis, a terminal disorder of the bone marrow causing him to receive regular red blood cell transfusions. He underwent a course of the one approved medication for this condition but it had limited effect. It was then determined a bone marrow transplant was his only hope for treatment and extending his life. There is 30% chance that a sibling will match a patient needing a transplant and fortunately Sharon was a perfect 10 point match.
Pete moved to Indianapolis, where Sharon lives, on January 24th, 2015 and on March 5th, he received a peripheral stem cell transplant from Sharon. He did remarkably well post-transplant staying only a few weeks in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit at the University of Indiana Medical Center. His condition continued to improve such that on Day +84 post-transplant, May 28th, 2015 he moved back to California and eventually started back to work at Ark Media.
Unfortunately Pete did not stay in remission so in October 2015 he moved back to Indiana and in December that year underwent a bone marrow transplant from Sharon. This second transplant gave Pete a number of good days and allowed him to spend quality and festive times with his sisters and friends that he had made in Indiana and in Michigan where Sharon and her husband Dan had a cottage on Birch Lake.
Everyone who met Pete described him as a kind and gentle person. He received numerous red blood cell and platelet transfusion at the Simon Cancer Center and the clinical staff provided tremendous care and comfort for him on his twice weekly appointments. They always remarked how Pete maintained a positive and optimistic attitude while experiencing such a grave disease.
Pete was able to mark his 2-year anniversary of his original transplant and was 8 days shy of his 54th birthday when he passed away. His sisters were at his side along with his dog Ruby who 4 years earlier he rescued and spent every day with her unless he was in the hospital. He will be missed.