Edward Joseph Siegrist, 87, of Frederick, passed away October 30, 2019. Though he tried to carry on without his wife of 60 years, who preceded him in death by 50 days, his heart was no longer in this world. Thus, having taken leave of each of his children the evening of the 29th, he passed quietly in the dawn hours, smiling as he breathed his last. We three children believe he saw through the doorway to his loved one waiting for him beyond the threshold, and so he went to join her just as he wished. We children miss him terribly, and the loss of our mother is still fresh. Yet we understand his desire and are glad that he is reunited with her.
Born March 31, 1932, in White Fish Bay, Wisconsin, to Edward Joseph Siegrist Sr. and Leora Zuleger Siegrist, he grew up sailing in the Wisconsin lake country, and gave his parents a great deal of anxiety and gray hair as a mediocre student but an excellent prankster and troublemaker.
He did manage to graduate from White Fish Bay High School in 1950, and subsequently attended Marquette University where he obtained a BS in mechanical engineering. Afterward, he volunteered to serve and spent two years acquiring a stock of hilarious army life tales that included a great deal of camping in swamps, snakes, and an interesting selection of camp mates from all over the country. On leaving the service, he continued post-graduate work at North Carolina State University. Here he unaccountably developed a passion for the abstract ideas of mathematics, where prosaically concrete engineering had not really inspired, and obtained a master’s degree in Applied Math.
While at NCSU, he met and married his lifelong love, fellow NC state engineer Shelby Webster Siegrist. With Shelby, he raised three children who remember him best for his quirky ever-present sense of humor, his profound Catholic faith, and his commitment to egalitarian principles in all aspects of his life. He was diagnosed early in life with multiple sclerosis and bore the inevitable deterioration of ability with grace, humility, and an unshakeable acceptance of God’s purpose.
Throughout his career he continued his service to the country, supporting the effort to put men on the moon, developing satellite systems, working on radar systems, and many other defense programs. He was known as the go-to engineer for the hardest problems of real-time computer programming.
Ed, or Ted as he was known to family and friends, was a long time Frederick resident having moved here in 1980, and he is a longstanding member of the parish of St Katherine Drexel. He is survived by his son, Ben Siegrist and daughter-in-law Mary Grimm Siegrist; daughters, Teresa Siegrist and Karen Siegrist; and his grandchildren, Samantha Siegrist and Wesley Siegrist.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Katherine Drexel. The family requests that those who wish to honor Ted’s memory make a contribution to the parish of St Katherine Drexel, which strongly supports the unprejudiced, humanitarian principle of equality that was his keystone.