Holzer, Siegfried Mathias

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Siegfried Mathias Holzer (August 24, 1936 – March 22, 2023) passed away recently. He was born in Radstadt, Austria and attended high school in Salzburg. He immigrated to the United States in 1956 and stayed with family in Kansas while working at the Kansas City Steel Company and other structural engineering firms. He earned Bachelors and Masters degrees from Kansas University, and a PhD from the University of Illinois. He became a naturalized citizen in 1961.

He was a professor of engineering at Virginia Tech from 1972 to 2002 and was passionate about teaching and fostering an engaging learning environment. His enthusiasm was contagious; he connected with students and received numerous accolades over the years. He was elected to VT’s Academy of Teaching Excellence in 1974. In 1986 he became the second person to win the National Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honorary Society Award for excellence in teaching. He received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education in 1989, and in 1995 he was designated an Alumni Distinguished Professor.

He always loved nature and enjoyed time outdoors, whether it be hiking, skiing, playing tennis, gardening, or working on his tree farm. Family vacations to the beach and Blue Ridge Parkway were a regular occurrence. In retirement he took daily trips to the Christiansburg Recreation Center for exercising and socializing. He was a voracious reader, and he joined a book club and volunteered to teach English to foreign students. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, chatting and telling stories over wine, or corresponding with distant friends and relatives over phone and email. He could often be found working around the yard or tinkering on a project around the house.

He is survived by his wife Gail, sons Michael (Eddie) and Matthew (Kelly), stepson Lance, and granddaughter Audrey; sister-in-law Hope; siblings Josef, Christine, and Elfrieda; half-brothers Peter, Walter, and Dragutin; and numerous nieces and nephews. His father Josef passed away in 1989; mother Genoveva passed away in 2005. He was preceded in death by brother Herbert and half-sister Susie.

No services are planned at this time.