Gwen Lowell Engelbert

Engelbert, Gwen Lowell Our beloved mother, wife, friend and mentor, Gwen Lowell Engelbert, passed away on Monday, November 11, 2019. Gwen was born in a cheese factory in Cumberland, WI on February, 23 1939. Much of her childhood was spent on her grandparent's homestead farm in Milltown, WI. It was there that she developed a deep connection with the wonders of nature; rescuing injured wild animals, running barefoot through warm manure, and developing an encyclopedic knowledge of the flora and fauna of the St. Croix river valley. As a teenager her boundless curiosity led her to Minneapolis during the summer to work and study the world. After graduating from Luck High School, she attempted to enroll in the drafting program at Dunwoody. They turned her away because they did not have female restrooms, but that strengthened her will. She subsequently enrolled in the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In her late twenties she started a successful typesetting company in Minneapolis that served many of the leading businesses in the Twin Cities. Gwen truly believed that she could do anything she wanted, and she did. Her restless soul led her to work as a commercial art representative with K&K Studios. There she mentored many artists and shared her intellect, love and passion for all that is true and meaningful. As that industry was shifting towards computer-aided design she took another turn to explore the unknown. Gwen's strength in sales, her ability to connect on a deeply personal level, spurred interest in selling one of two products she truly believed in: Brownberry Bread, or Mazda vehicles. She started her career in car sales at Polar Chev in White Bear Lake (focusing on Mazdas!) where she was the only female salesperson on staff (not a rare occurrence in her life). Gwen later moved to Morrie's Mazda where she became the top Mazda salesperson in the Midwest. However, her curiosity still ran wild. With Katie Greene, her partner and the love of her life, they fulfilled a lifelong dream to open a clothing boutique that specializes in ethically made fashion. Key North Boutique opened in NE Minneapolis, in 2006. Gwen and Katie lived the dream for 13 years in business. The friends and community they nurtured through the store were truly remarkable. Gwen will be missed immensely by her wife of 37 years, Katie Greene, her son John Greene, daughter-in- law Anna Greene, and her first grandchild who is expected on 11/27/19. John and Anna decided years ago that if it's a girl she will be named Gwen Freja Greene; we're hoping for a girl more than ever. All who knew Gwen would testify to the strength of her character, her moral convictions, patience, strength, intellect, compassion, humor, spirituality. There will be a memorial service this Sunday, 11/17, 3 PM at White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, 328 Maple St, Mahtomedi, MN 55115. Please send your remembrances in celebration of life to It doesn't have to be perfect and we will cherish your memories of Gwenie. In lieu flowers please consider donating to the Myositis Association. Gwen battled Inclusion Body Myositis for decades.