Dr. Siegfried John Koegler was born in Planitz, Germany on the 22nd of May, 1921, the eldest of 5 children of Arno Rudolf Koegler and the former Emma Rosa Hoelig. His siblings were; Hanna, John, Harry and Marion. Dr. Koegler sailed to Canada with his parents and his little sister Hanna aboard the ship, “Empress of Britain” arriving on the 26th May 1923. A little background shows that Dr. Koegler’s grandfather Paul Koegler had immigrated to Kitchener, Ontario from Germany in 1913. Grandfather Paul, who was a cabinet maker brought a son named Kurt with him at that time. Paul’s wife Anna immigrated in 1920 with 3 more sons; Fritz, Hans and Walter. Paul and Anna’s eldest son, was Dr. Koegler’s father Arno and when he and his wife Emma immigrated to Canada, they settled in Kitchener as well. Dr. Koegler’s father practiced naturopathic medicine in the Kitchener/Waterloo area and the Koegler family resided at 22 McDougall Avenue.
Dr. Koegler was a gifted student. After completing high school he attended the University of Western Ontario and graduated M.D. in 1944. He interned at Victoria Hospital in London and he went on to postgraduate studies in paediatrics in England.
Dr. Koegler married Elizabeth Eve Darasch on the 7th of August, 1943 in Waterloo, Ontario. Mrs. Koegler was born on the 9th of December, 1922 in Doroslovo, Yugoslavia, the daughter of Stevan Darasch and the former Magdalena Negeli. She immigrated to Canada in 1928 and her family settled in Kitchener. Dr. and Mrs. Koegler had 5 children; David, Trevor, Paul, Susan and Peter.
In 1957 Dr. Koegler was practicing medicine in Kitchener. Dr. and Mrs. Koegler resided at 618 King Street West. In an interview with Dr. Koegler, that appeared in the Chatham Daily News on the 15th of May,1969, Dr. Koegler said that he spoke as a guest speaker at a parents association meeting in 1957. (The parents association was the beginning of what would become the Ontario Mental Health Association.) It was at that meeting that he made a commitment to the parents to do everything that he could to help the children that were institutionalized. Within one week of that meeting, Dr. Koegler joined the parents association and began making plans to present a report to the Minister of Health. In 1960, Dr. Koegler was approached by the Ministry of Health to begin setting up the first mental health clinic in London.
By the early 1960’s Dr. Koegler was the Clinical Director at the Beck Memorial Sanatorium in London, Ontario. The Beck Memorial Sanatorium was opened on the 5th of April, 1910 and it was initially called The Queen Alexandra Sanatorium. When it opened, it treated people suffering from tuberculosis. In April of 1949, it was renamed The Beck Memorial Sanatorium and when Dr. Koegler worked there he was caring for children with psychological needs. The Beck Memorial Sanatorium closed on the 6th of September, 1972 and today the former Beck Memorial Sanatorium is the site of Child and Parent Resource Institute (C.P.R.I.).
By the mid 1960’s Dr. Koegler was the Acting Superintendent at the Ontario Hospital School (also known as the Southwestern Regional Centre) in Cedar Springs. In 1966, there were 1,000 residents at the Southwestern Regional Centre with a waiting list of hundreds more. Dr. Koegler sought to move patients back into the community in structured residential environments and within the confines of the hospital he sought to make the hospital environment feel more like a residential setting.
In 1974, Dr. and Mrs. Koegler were known to be residing at 242 Victoria Ave., in Chatham.
After completing his tenure in Cedar Springs, Dr. Koegler moved to Alberta and he practiced at the Michener Centre in Red Deer, Alberta. Prior to his retirement he also worked at the Alvin Buckwold Centre at University Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
He retired around 1995 and Dr. and Mrs. Koegler lived in Lethbridge, Alberta. In his spare time, Dr. Koegler enjoyed listening to music. He was a skilled musician himself and played a number of instruments.
Mrs. Koegler died on the 6th of June, 2003. Dr. Koegler died on the 1st of July, 2011. They are buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Lethbridge.