Three months ago Kurt Engel started feeling tired and like he couldn’t hold down his food.
He went to the doctor thinking it was the stomach flu.
Instead he was told he had Stage 4 colon cancer.
Engel died October 6, leaving behind a wife and three children, all under the age of five.
He was 39 years old.
This Thursday, Engel’s friends and family will hold a “dine and donate” at Finnegan’s in downtown Novato to help his widow, Hattie, who now has a mountain of medical bills to deal with.
Engel was born and raised in Novato and graduated from San Marin High School. He worked as a realtor for Coldwell Banker and had been living in Petaluma in recent years.
“His happiness came from family and friends,” said Pam Bailey, a longtime friend. “He was an avid Star Wars and Disney fan and just one of the greatest guys I’ve ever known.”
Engel also had a quick wit and sense of humor, with him until his last moments, according to friends. After his diagnosis Engel’s motto became “Get Busy Living,” which he often repeated to friends. He even ordered T-shirts emblazed with the message.
But despite his optimism, cancer won.
During Thursday’s event, Finnegan’s will donate 15 percent of bar, lunch and dinner receipts to the Engel family. Spots for dinner are all sold out, but lunch is still available. Call 415-899-1516 to make a reservation.
There is also a silent online auction at kurtkickingcancer.com featuring trips, wine, a gourmet dinner at home by a chef and childcare.