VCA - Honoring Our Past Members
Virginia Chefs Association - In Memoriam

Joseph Anthony Sciegaj Jr.

Joseph Anthony Sciegaj Jr.

1951 - 2017

Joseph Anthony Sciegaj, Jr., 66, of Dublin, formerly of Williamsburg, passed away Monday, October 30, 2017. He retired as the Executive Pastry Chef at Colonial Williamsburg. He enjoyed being with his family, especially his grandchildren. He loved sitting on his front porch with his wife, baking with his grandchildren, and, of course, cooking meals and baking everyone's favorite sweets. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph, Sr., and Jean Marie Sciegaj; and brother, Stanley Sciegaj.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Mickie Campbell Sciegaj of Dublin, also formerly of Williamsburg; daughters and sons-in-law, Kelly and Chris Castle of Dublin, and Morgan and Matt Lewis of Riner; grandchildren, Ryan and Allyson Castle, and Stacy and Sami Lewis; brothers and sisters-in-law, Robert and Cathy Sciegaj, Matthew and Noel Sciegaj and Mark and Krista Sciegaj; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Gene and Tommy Noblin, Kay and Buddy Tarrant, Ron and Lenny Campbell, and Steve and Lynn Campbell; and many nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Sciegaj responds to the VCA:

Dear Chefs,
Thank you for the beautiful bouquet arrangement of fall colors sent to my family in honor of Joe.
He loved his profession and all of the wonderful people he learned from and taught to.
Many thanks to all of you,
Mickie Sciegaj and Family

Manfred Roehr, C.E.C., A.A.C.

Manfred Roehr

1940 - 2017

Manfred "Freddie" Roehr, C.E.C., A.A.C. was from Neukirich, Prussia, which later became Germany. He joined the Merchant Marines which brought him to America, where he was drafted and enlisted into the United States Army, achieving the rank of SSG. He intended on being a mechanic, but was instead assigned as a cook. After finishing his service in the Army in 1970, he began working at Colonial Williamsburg starting in administration, but would again find his way into the kitchen. During his time at Colonial Williamsburg he would work from cook, to chef, to manager of The Williamsburg Lodge, Chowning's Tavern, Campbell's Tavern, and opened Shield's Tavern, the only restaurant serving authentic 18th century cuisine at the time. He received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Hotel Institutional Management from Thomas Nelson Community College, and would later go on to manage food services at the Richmond Airport.

Chef Manfred was an accomplished member of the Virginia Chef's Association (VCA) and the American Culinary Federation. During his tenure he would earn the title of Certified Executive Chef (C.E.C.), and become inducted into the American Academy of Chefs (A.A.C.). Chef was known as a trainer, mentor, and teacher to many apprentices in the culinary field, garnering him the Chef of the Year Award in both 1984 and 1995 for his dedicated work. During his time as a member of the VCA, Chef would serve in every officer position, but was most well-known for his role as Treasurer (c.1990-2017). Chef Manfred also volunteered as a judge for the Fort Lee Culinary Arts Show and was a consistent presence in every ACF event along with the VCA apprentices monthly Williamsburg Farmer's Market fund raiser.

Chef Manfred was also a part to many other organizations including the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (awarded Elk of the Year), Disabled American Veterans Chapter #2, Moose Lodge, American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He also enjoyed playing and coaching soccer with Williamsburg Parks & Recreation.

Service and guiding others was the touchstone that became the rule of his life, and that was undeniable by the everlasting impression he left upon those who knew him.

Marcel Walter, C.E.P.C., A.A.C.

Marcel Walter

1938 - 2013

Marcel Walter was born in Steckborn, Switzerland on February 19, 1938. He was Swiss by birth and later became a U.S. citizen.

He served a 3 year Pastry Chef apprenticeship at the renowned Reber Confiserie in Zurich, Switzerland. There he learning the art of creating the finest confections, pastries, and sugar work.

During an illustrious career working at many fine institutions, from Belgium to Bermuda, Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Naples Florida, and Atlantic City, he finally settled in Williamsburg, Virginia.

In 1981 he became the Executive Pastry Specialist for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Working out of the CW Commissary, he created new desserts for the Williamsburg Inn and the many dignitaries who have stayed at the Inn from around the world including the national leaders attending the 1983 Summit Conference.

Chef Marcel Walter retired from Colonial Williamsburg in 1997 with 15 years of service.

Eugene L. "Gene" Liberati

Gene Liberati

1922 - 2011

Thoughts & Memories of Gene

The first words that come to mind are gentle, exuberant presence, kind, and always a gracious gentleman.

My first memory of Gene was at Colonial Williamsburg; it was at the commissary, he had a huge ring of keys on a long chain…he reassured that if we ever needed anything no matter what the time of day…just call and he would be there to make sure we had what we needed. I would say he viewed himself not as king of the hill, but as a humble servant and provider…He had a huge heart.

Next was the espresso machine at the Inn…always positive and diligent. Many great lessons and conversations were had…the intricacies of coffee brewing, steam boiler temperature, and water level titration were shared… He was great motivator and teacher.

I remember Gene at the chef's balls and monthly meetings, he was always engaging in great dialogue, he knew how to make you feel comfortable be yourself and share; it did not matter if you were the youngest apprentice or the CEO of a great organization Gene was Gene…always polite…always engaging…He was a great conversationalist.

And not to be forgotten; Gene was the great navigator…always finding the scenic route to our chapter meetings with "commentary" along the way, and though we may have doubted…we always arrived to our destination on time…He was a pioneer and a leader.

Mere words simply are not sufficient…in the background or in the foreground, Gene was and still is an indomitable force always giving is best …constantly providing wisdom, grace and love.
We will miss you Gene
Love, Your Friends…

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