BRATTLEBORO -- Samuel Walter Achziger, 80, died peacefully at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, after five years in the loving care of his dear nurses and attendants at Eden Park.
He was the youngest of 12 children (nine brothers and three sisters) to Elizabeth (Schneider) and John Adam Achziger of Longmont, Colo.
Mr. Achziger leaves two sisters, Ann Ogozaly of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. and Edith Vogel of La Mirada, Calif., his dear niece Dr. Jennifer Walters of Santa Fe, N.M., as well as many nieces and nephews.
Mr. Achziger's chosen family spans the globe, extending from close friends and colleagues in Massachusetts and Vermont, blood relatives in California and Colorado, old college and Army buddies in Washington State, to his Brazilian family and countless other host families in a dozen or more countries throughout Latin American and all across Europe, who came to know him through his years of involvement with the Experiment in International Living.
He cherished his time with “The Experiment,” as a leader of student groups around the world, as well as an ambassador to colleges and communities. He was proud of his role in selecting and training students and staff, and especially as the director of student personnel. His belief was that “Experimenters were powerful instruments in promoting world peace through mutual understanding.”
Mr. Aczinger's home and life were filled with music and friends from all over the world. He pursued an education unusual to his simple Colorado farm beginnings by graduating from Yankton College in South Dakota with a B.A. in music education and continued graduate studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. He earned his master's degree in education at Boston University. His passion for singing followed him throughout his life, as his friends and members of the Putney United (Federated) Church Choir will attest.
While a resident at Eden Park, he continued his lifelong pursuit of sharing his fine wit and irreverent humor by hosting weekly gatherings in his room for socializing with other residents. He also founded and became the editor of the Eden Park Newsletter and was also the president of the Eden Resident Council.
Mr. Achziger requested that he be cremated, “without any fuss or flowers” and that his ashes be scattered over his beloved Connecticut River Valley and that his friends enjoy a celebration of his life.u
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Mar. 4, 2006.