Sometimes you never realize just how distinguished a fellow patroller may be as you share life experiences on the slopes, but rarely anywhere else. Volker Weiss was an accomplished patroller whose life story was astounding. He was 93 when he died on November 7, 2023, after fighting cancer for two years.

Volker skied 37 years with the Toggenburg Ski Patrol in the CNY Region (1962-1999), serving as patrol leader in 1971, and was awarded National Appointment 5338 in 1978. He was an avid sportsman, enjoying skiing, sailing, tennis, golf, and hiking. Somehow, Volker also found time to be a talented musician as a guitarist, accordion and recorder performer, and singer. He served a term as board member of the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music. He was president of the Rotary Club of Syracuse for many years.

Born and raised in Austria, Volker and his family fled their hometown during World War II, and hid from the Nazis for two years in the Austrian Alps. After the war, he completed his undergraduate studies in Vienna, moving to Syracuse, where he completed a master’s and a doctorate at Syracuse University by 1959.

He joined the faculty of SU’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Metallurgy and became a professor. He became chair of his department, was associate dean of the engineering college, and later became director of SU’s Institute of Energy Research. From 1978 to 1986, Volker was vice president for research and graduate affairs. Under his leadership, external funding for SU researchers nearly doubled. Volker reorganized the SU graduate school and founded the journal Syracuse Scholar.

He had authored more than 70 publications on metallurgy, and materials evaluation and fatigue by the time he retired in 1996. In retirement, Volker continued to do research for such clients as the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Carrier Corporation, and Ford Motor Company. He was a fellow of the American Society of Metals; and shared the U.S. patent related to self-monitoring metals, alloys, and materials. Volker also earned recognition by NASA, NATO, and the Fulbright Program.

Volker was predeceased by his wife Peg. He is survived by sons Erick (who was a ski patroller for four years) and Christopher; and four grandchildren.