James E. Engel, who had a long career as a banker and an executive of municipal development agencies, died Thursday in the Center for Hospice & Palliative Care in Cheektowaga after a long illness. He was 66.
A city native, he was a graduate of Niagara Falls High School and earned a business administration degree from Niagara University.
He was manager of the Grand Island office of M&T Bank and served as a commercial loan officer for that bank from 1970 to 1988.
Mr. Engel then joined the City of Niagara Falls as economic development director and executive director of the city's NFC Development Corp. His tenure ended in 1992 when he was ousted by then-Mayor Jacob C. Palillo.
Mr. Engel joined the Erie County Industrial Development Agency briefly before returning to banking late in 1992. He joined Key Bank as a vice president and commercial loan officer. He later became vice president of Key Bank's international division and vice president of private banking and investing.
Mr. Engel joined HSBC Bank in 1999 as vice president of commercial lending. He retired from the bank's Snyder office in 2003 because of ill health.
He later served on the finance committee for the Buffalo District of the United Methodist Church and as chairman of the finance committee and stewardship campaign at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Niagara Falls.
He was a member of the Mount St. Mary's Hospital Foundation board and Niagara Falls Country Club, and a volunteer at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Survivors include his wife of 45 years, the former Frances L. Rew; two sons, Jon S. of Garner, N.C., and Timothy J. of Orchard Park; a daughter, Elisa L. Newman-David of Niagara Falls; two sisters, Janice O. Woodley of Huntington Beach, Calif., and Claudia L. Witkop of North Tonawanda; a brother, Alec C. of Half Moon Bay, Calif.; and two grandchildren.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 723 Seventh St. Burial will be in Niagara Falls Memorial Park Cemetery, Lewiston.