LYNDEN - A funeral for a high-ranking U.S. border officer this weekend is expected to pack the Expo Building at the Lynden fairgrounds, with a large motorcade of law enforcement escorting the body.
Deborah L. Engels, an assistant area port director for U.S. Customs & Border Protection, died after a fall last weekend while retrieving holiday ornaments from the rafters of her Lynden home. She was 51.
Engels grew up in Whatcom County. For much of her early career, Engels worked as an inspector. She rose through the ranks of U.S. Customs in Blaine before moving to Seattle for several years. She returned to Lynden in 2009.
Local law enforcement and Canadian police are expected to attend the Saturday, Dec. 22, funeral. Engels is survived by her husband, U.S. Customs Officer Bill Schultz, as well as two daughters, a grandchild, a brother and her parents.
"She was loved by so many," said friend and co-worker Kay Hickman. "She had the rank but didn't have the attitude that can go with it."
The funeral is mostly for people who knew and worked with Engels, but the public may attend.
A motorcade for the funeral of Deborah L. Engels, assistant area port director for U.S. Customs & Border Protection, will proceed from Gillies Funeral Home, 202 Front St., to the Northwest Washington fairgrounds before the ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22. It's expected to be a long procession involving law enforcement from multiple agencies.