Ziegler, Samuel


Although a top-notch bruising athlete while at Otterbein, Sam made his mark in the field of medicine, serving those most in need. He earned seven varsity letters in football and track and field, and received the coveted Norris-Elliott Cup, presented to Otterbein’s best senior athlete and student. In 1933, on his father’s birthday, who was watching in the stands, Sam ran for four touchdowns in a football game against Hiram. He excelled in track, turning in personal bests of 23-6 in the long jump, 6-3 in the high jump, and 10.0 seconds in the 100-yard dash. In 1940, Sam graduated from Western Reserve Medical School and was awarded the senior prize in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Following military service as chief medical officer in the Philippines during World War II, Sam entered private practice as a physician and general surgeon at the Espanola Hospital in Espanola, N.M. He came to New Mexico under the auspices of the United Brethren Church to help build and staff this hospital in an area of northern New Mexico in need of better medical care. Sam was the hospital’s first physician and he served the area for 30 years, from 1946-76. For the next 10 years, he became a member and then leader of the Occupational Medical Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Sam also served on the Espanola City Council from 1966 to 1984, and took part in two unsuccessful, but eventful and rewarding bids for State Senator. In 1998, Sam and his wife, Isabel, were recognized as “Living Treasures” by the city of Santa Fe, N.M.