Obituary | Richard 'Dick' E. Voeltz

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Obituary | Richard ‘Dick’ E. Voeltz

Richard Voeltz obituary photo

Richard “Dick” E. Voeltz, 82, of Lincoln died Dec. 19, 2023, at Gateway Vista Senior Living. Voeltz was a science librarian at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln for 43 years, from 1968 until 2011.

He was born Aug. 31, 1941, in Ellsworth, Kansas, to Wilhelm and Lucina Voeltz. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in botany from Kansas State University and a Master of Librarianship from Emporia State University. He married Barbara Betts in 1968, and their daughter, Michele, was born in 1973.

While at Nebraska, he served for many years as treasurer of the UNL chapter of the American Association of University Professors. He received an award for “creating an atmosphere of mutual respect” from the Association of Classified Library Personnel in 1997 and the Sigma Xi award for outstanding science librarian in 2001. He served his church and community through his participation in the Warren Foundation and the East Campus Community Organization. He was an avid participant in the annual CROP walk, which raises funds for the Church World Service. He last participated in the walk in 2021, in his wheelchair, with assistance from Barbara and Gateway Vista Senior Living.

Voeltz was an early adopter of the internet. He had his own business doing online searches of science databases beginning in the mid-1980s. Voeltz had a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of many subjects. His family enjoyed quizzing him on the English and Latin names of plants they came across, and he nearly always knew the answer. He was also knowledgeable about and enjoyed discussing history, especially the history of agriculture and of World War II. He always enjoyed Bible studies and discussions of the Bible and Christian faith. Over the years, Voeltz had many hobbies, including reading, hiking, biking, woodworking and gardening. He also enjoyed spending time with family and friends. He was legally blind his whole life, although this never kept him from pursuing his hobbies and career, or from being an active and thoughtful presence in family life.

He is survived and missed by his wife, Barbara; his daughter, Michele (Andy) Rau; two grandchildren; his sister, Lola (Vic) Suelter; and many other family members and friends. Memorials may be directed to New Hope United Methodist Church or the University of Nebraska Foundation for the Libraries.

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