Author of more than 50 books, Engstrom served as executive vice president and later president and chief executive officer of World Vision, turning a small Christian agency focused on war orphans into one of the world’s largest relief and development organizations. He served as vice president for 19 years and president for two, retiring in 1987.
In a statement announcing Engstrom’s death, World Vision remembered its former president as being “organized, affirming, and decisive.” Engstrom also worked at Zondervan as book editor, editorial director and general manager for almost 11 years.
Engstrom chaired or was a member of numerous church, educational and philanthropic boards including Youth for Christ International, Focus on the Family, the International School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University, the Institute of Christian Organization Development, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and World Vision International.
Even as he celebrated his 90th birthday this year, Engstrom continued to come to his office at World Vision. He and his wife, Dorothy, were members of Pasadena’s Lake Avenue Congregational Church for more than 40 years, where he also chaired the board.
Engstrom is survived by his three children, Gordon, Don and Jo Ann. Plans for a memorial service and funeral are pending.