The Chancellor’s Office was notified of the unexpected death of Reverend David R. Engbarth, 75, a retired priest of the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois, who resided in the Diocese of St. Petersburg since his retirement in 2014. His death was discovered on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, at his home in Largo.
Father Engbarth was a native of Rockford, Illinois and was ordained for the Diocese of Rockford on November 20, 1976. During his 47 years of priestly ministry, he served in multiple roles, including as Pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish and School, Aurora, Illinois, where he served prior to his retirement due to heart disease. Since retirement, Father Engbarth provided ministry to both English- and Spanish-speaking members of the faithful in numerous parishes, including St. Joseph, Tampa; Transfiguration, St. Petersburg (now Holy Martyrs of Vietnam), St. Cecelia, Clearwater; St. Michael the Archangel, Clearwater; Holy Cross, St. Petersburg; and Most Holy Name of Jesus, Gulfport.
Father Engbarth was instrumental in assisting the parish community of Transfiguration during its transition toward merging with Holy Martyrs of Vietnam in 2019. During his nine years in our diocese, he made many friends among his brother priests and others throughout the parishes where he served. He was known for his optimism and his infectious smile.
Surviving family members include Father Engbarth’s sister, Karen Dittmar, nephews Scott and Craig Dittmar, and others. Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced once they are available.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, December 15, 2023, 9:30 a.m., at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, 5815 5th Avenue N., St. Petersburg. A reception will follow.
A Funeral Mass will also be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, Aurora, Illinois, at a later date. Father Engbarth will be buried nearby in Aurora.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family of Rev. David Engbarth, c/o Diocese of St. Petersburg, Office of the Chancellor, P.O. Box 40200, St. Petersburg, FL 33743-0200.
Please keep Father Engbarth’s family members and loved ones in your kind thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
by the mercy of God rest in peace!