May 5, 1939 – March 22, 2014
Richard L. Siegler, 74, of Davis, died peacefully at his home surrounded by his family after a long battle with cancer.
Richard was born and raised in Vallejo to Alfred and Loyola Siegler. His parents were lifelong educators, and his father served in the California State Assembly. Like his parents, Richard pursued a career helping children, becoming a physician and professor specializing in pediatric nephrology. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Life Sciences from Sacramento State College, and later attended Creighton University Medical School in Omaha, Nebraska, where he met Karen Koenig, his wife and companion of over 50 years. After graduation from medical school, Richard completed his residency in pediatrics at Creighton Memorial – St. Joseph’s Hospital in Omaha.
Richard served with honor and distinction in the United States Army in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968, and was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement.
After completing a fellowship in nephrology at the University of Utah, he joined the faculty in 1971 and served until his retirement in 2005. He enjoyed a fruitful and fulfilling career in medicine, with an active clinical practice and extensive research program in pediatric nephrology. Dr. Siegler published over eighty scholarly articles and book chapters, and was recognized as one of the world’s leading experts regarding hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), caused by E. coli.
In 2006, he was the recipient of the Marty Palmer Service to Children Award, the highest honor presented by the Intermountain Pediatric Society and the Utah Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics for “his visionary leadership, distinguished research and teaching, and unwavering devotion to his patients.”
After retiring from the University of Utah, he and his wife moved to Davis to be closer to family and friends, where he remained active professionally and personally. He continued to contribute to the health of children through extensive work and frequent trips to Guatemala, where he was honored by the President of Guatemala at the opening of the Richard L. Siegler Pediatric Hemodialysis Center, the first such center in the country.
Richard loved adventure, travel, and the outdoors, whether it was hiking in Southern Utah, skiing at breakneck speed down mountains, rowing and rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, traveling the world, or becoming the oldest person to navigate the Olympic luge track in Park City, Utah. He and his wife Karen spent many enjoyable summers with family at their mountain cabin in Utah. Richard also had a lifelong love of music, and began playing the violin at the age of five. He became an accomplished violinist and was a member of the Wasatch Symphony Orchestra for many years.
Most enjoyable of all, however, was the time that he spent with family. He was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. Richard was a true character in the best sense of the word, and he will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife Karen; children Mark (Lisa), Matthew (Heather) and Amy Stout (Chris); grandchildren Henry, Ava, Addison and Liam; brother James (Alicia) and sister Karen Bellis (James).
A memorial service for Richard was held on Saturday, March 29, at St. James Catholic Church in Davis. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to Bridge of Life, DaVita Medical Missions – Guatemala Project (www.bridgeoflifemm.org/our-missions/guatemala/).