Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and accomplished anesthesiologist, Dr. Liselotte Elfriede Sigmar, MD, passed away peacefully on February 23, 2013 in Houston, Texas, after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer.
Lisl was born on May 9, 1930, in Vienna, Austria, to Franz and Karoline Gattermayr Nagel. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Dieter Joseph Sigmar, PhD, and is survived by her three children and their families: her son, Axel Michael Sigmar and his daughter Ann-Jolie; her daughter Monika Sigmar Burdett, and husband Mike and sons Jacob and Nicolas, all of Texas; and her daughter Elisabeth Sigmar Schmidt and children Eliza and Joseph, of Virginia. Lisl is also survived by her loving sister Ute and husband Henry C. Park, along with her nieces, nephews, cousins, and many dear friends from around the world.
To those who knew her well, Lisl will be remembered for her love of family, friendship, and life, making every person she met feel special and making each day a celebration. Her strength, courage and determination were beautifully balanced by her quiet demeanor, genuine care, patience, kindness, generosity and humbleness. Lisl enjoyed going to the symphony, opera, ballet, and art museums, and made it a priority for her children to also embrace this broad spectrum of cultural experiences whenever possible. Lisl also loved to travel, starting as a young adult with her first trip to the United States aboard the Queen Mary and then travelling with Dieter through Europe on his motorcycle; taking many sailing trips in the Caribbean and Greek Islands, and going on various business and family trips through Europe and Russia with Dieter, her children, and her long-standing friends in the US, Austria, Denmark, Germany and Italy.
Lisl was also known for her dedication to her profession as an anesthesiologist, and remains a Member in Good Standing of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Since the age of 13, Lisl wanted to be a medical doctor. She began her medical studies in Vienna and graduated from medical school in 1957, becoming one of the first female MDs in her field. She trained further at the University Clinic in Vienna in general medicine, plastic surgery and later transitioned to anesthesiology. Throughout her studies, Lisl was fortunate to work with remarkable doctors who served not only as teachers but also as her mentors. But it was Dr. Mathilde Sigmar, who in addition to providing medical training, introduced Lisl to Mathilde’s son Dieter, who quickly became the love of Lisl’s life. Lisl and Dieter were married on March 5, 1960 in the chapel of the castle of Schonnbrunn in Vienna.
Upon immigrating to the United States in 1966 with Dieter and their three children, Lisl practiced anesthesia at the Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and also at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, often moving between the two cities in conjunction with Dieter’s work as a nuclear physicist at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During this time, she also completed her medical boards in Vienna and in Boston. In 1976, the family returned to Oak Ridge where Lisl ran her own anesthesia practice. They remained in Oak Ridge until Lisl’s retirement in 1991, at which time she and Dieter resided at MIT. In 2001, they moved to Lago Vista, Texas upon Dieter’s retirement.
After Dieter’s passing in 2005, Lisl enjoyed extended stays with her daughters and their families in Texas and Virginia. She also travelled with her children to Austria, bringing together relatives and friends to share in the family history. Lisl lived this past year in Houston, where she was provided with the most gracious care and outstanding cancer treatment at Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Woodlands, TX.
In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for donations to:
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
14 Pennsylvania Plaza, Suite 1710, New York, NY 10122
Telephone: (212) 268-1002