Obituary: Siegfried Feller, retired chief bibliographer for Libraries

Siegfried Feller, 83, of Pelham, retired associate director for Collection Development and chief bibliographer for the Libraries, died Nov. 10 at Sunbridge Care and Rehabilitation in Hadley.

Born in Essen, Germany, he immigrated to the United States in 1928 and grew up in Michigan. He held bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in library administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

A World War II veteran, he served as a U.S. Army radio operator in the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns and participated in the occupation of Berlin from 1944-46. He was a member of the 69th Infantry Division, the first to meet the Russians at Torgau just two weeks before the end of the war in Europe. He earned a Bronze Star during his service.

An artisan in the 1950s, he made wood and metal jewelry and pottery. Also in the ’50s, he managed Bob Marshall’s Bookshop in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Creative Bookmen in Riverside, Calif., and he traveled for two years representing A.A. Lampl Art Books, an importer based in Costa Mesa, Calif.

He was an acquisitions librarian at Southern Illinois University Carbondale from 1960-61 and chief acquisitions librarian at the University of Oklahoma from 1961-63 and at the University of Minnesota from 1964-67.

He came to Amherst in 1967 to the new position of chief bibliographer, a post he held until his retirement in 1991. After retiring, he returned to the Libraries as a part-time acquisitions specialist for another four years.

In addition to being an honorary member of the German Librarians’ Association, he was a longtime member of the American Library Association and the Association of College and Research Libraries and its Western European Specialists section.

In 1998, the Friends of the Library, an organization that he founded, created the Siegfried Feller Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service. He was named as its first recipient.

A collector of stamps, postcards and map memorabilia, he donated 10,000 map postcards to Harvard’s Map Library in 2007, with which the library put on a special exhibition.

He leaves a brother, William Krause of Graham, Wash.; two sons, Geoff Feller of Minneapolis and Bart Rankin of Greenfield; two grandchildren; and a cousin.

His wife, Karen Wynnell Bartok, died in 2005.

A memorial gathering is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 20 at 10:30 a.m. in the Cape Cod Lounge of the Student Union Building. The family has established a memorial blog —sigfeller.blogspot.com — for comments from those who knew him.

Memorial contributions be made to the Friends of the UMass Amherst Libraries, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, 154 Hicks Way, Amherst 01003.