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Anestis Veletsos


1927 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Anestis Veletsos Obituary
Dr. Anestis S. Veletsos
1927-2018
Anestis ("Andy") S. Veletsos passed away peacefully on the 25th of October 2018, surrounded by his loving family. Dr. Veletsos was the Brown & Root Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Rice University from 1964-2009, serving as Chairman of the Department from 1964-1972.
He was previously Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois-Champaign, where he also served on the University's Center for Advanced Study. He held visiting appointments at the University of California, Berkeley, and at universities in Brazil and India. He also served as Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston from 2010-2013. Veletsos was an active consultant; served on a multitude of advisory panels and boards; and lectured extensively in different parts of the world.
Andy was born in Istanbul, Turkey and received his bachelor's degree with highest honors from Robert College in 1948. He earned his master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1950 and 1953, respectively. He was a Guest Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1959.
Veletsos was recognized for his pioneering work in structural dynamics and the dynamics of soil-structure and fluid-structure interaction. Veletsos' research over the years contributed to improved understanding of the responses of structures and structure-foundation systems to various forms of dynamic excitation, and led to practical methods of analysis and design for such systems. His research had a tremendous influence on practicing engineers and on the practice of earthquake engineering.
He was the author of over 140 publications, mostly in structural and foundation dynamics and earthquake engineering. He has been awarded with numerous prestigious awards, including twice with the Norman Medal of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). His other honors include the Huber Research Prize, the Newmark Medal, the Howard Award, the Reese Research Prize and the Theodore von Karman Medal of ASCE; the Distinguished Alumnus Award of Civil Engineering Alumni Association of the University of Illinois; and the George W. Housner Medal of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the highest honor of the Institute given in recognition of sustained leadership and contributions to earthquake engineering and earthquake risk mitigation. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, to Honorary Membership of ASCE, and to the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Patras in Greece.
Throughout his long career, Andy found no more gratifying professional experience than to be recognized by his peers and organizations that he admired and respected greatly. He derived great pleasure from the interactions he had with his talented students and valued colleagues.
His greatest joy outside of his profession was being with his family. He is survived by his loving wife, Katherine, whom he was devoted to, his two adoring daughters Ann Marie and Melinda (Vieser), his son-in-law, Jaime Vieser, his four grandchildren, Katherine, Alexandra, Bella and Will, and his sister-in-law, Rula Zografos.
Andy was a man of exceptional intelligence, gentle kindness, great humility and unfaltering integrity. He was a man of strong character and values that guided the course of his life. In his words, he believed that "each of us can make a difference if only we have a dream and do our best to make that dream come true; that you have to strive, to seek and find and not to yield; and to do your job to the best of your ability every day, out of respect for yourself and your occupation – that work is a value in itself."
Andy will continue to serve as an inspiration to his family and remain in their hearts forever.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o'clock in the afternoon until seven o'clock in the evening on Thursday, the 1st of November, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston, where the Trisagion prayers will commence at half-past six o'clock in the evening.
The funeral service is to be conducted at ten o'clock in the morning on Friday, the 2nd of November, at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3511 Yoakum Boulevard in Houston, where the Cathedral Clergy are to officiate.
Interment is to follow, via an escorted cortège, at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery.
Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a makaria luncheon in the S.P. Martel Hall of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions be directed to the Veletsos Family Scholarship Fund, Annunciation Orthodox School, 3600 Yoakum Blvd., Houston, Texas 77006.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Oct. 28, 2018
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