Age 87, of Indianapolis, went home to be with his Lord on August 14, 2013 after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. Konstantins was born near Rezekne, in Makaseni, Latvia on May 21, 1926, the oldest of 4 children of Jezups and Katra (Pizics) Sventeckis. In 1944, the family left their home to escape the invading Soviet army and spent 5 years in a Displaced Persons camp in Esslingen, Germany. In 1949, the family immigrated to America, settling in Indianapolis. Konstantins was employed at J.C. Wilson Engineering for 37 years, where he worked as a quality control inspector until retiring in 1989. While there, he was presented an achievement award from NASA for his role in the Space Shuttle Program.
As soon as he settled in America, Konstantins passionately channeled his energy into the preservation of the Latvian culture and heritage. He worked tirelessly as a member of many local and national Latvian organizations. He was a founding member of the American Latvian Youth Association; he served on the Board of Directors of the American Latvian Association, the American Latvian Catholic Association, the Latvian Freedom League, and many other organizations. In the early 1960s, he was one of the founders of the Indianapolis Latvian Community Center and served as its president for 40 years. In 1960 and again in 1988, he served as the chairman of the Latvian Song Festival when it was held in Indianapolis. He took his leadership roles seriously and served as a mentor to Latvian youth, encouraging their participation in organizations. On November 18, 2004, the President of Latvia presented him with The Order of Three Stars, Latvia's highest civilian honor.
He was a member of Christ the King Catholic parish since 1960. His strong faith and work ethic were evident in all aspects of his life. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, and often expressed his pride in the accomplishments of his daughters and grandchildren.
Konstantins is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Franciska (Tarbunas); his daughters Mara (Robert) Memenis and Ruta (Karlis) Grinvalds; his grandchildren Sandra (Aldis) Raisters and Karlis Memenis; Inta, Larisa and Andris Grinvalds; his siblings, Bronislava Melbardis and Janis (Marija) Sventeckis; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews, and relatives in Latvia. He was preceded in death by his parents and his infant sister Antonina.
Funeral services will begin at 9:30 a.m., Monday, August 19, at Feeney-Hornak Keystone Mortuary followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am at Christ the King Catholic Church. Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Sunday, August 18th at the Mortuary. Memorial contributions may be made to the Indianapolis Latvian Community Center, or American Latvian Catholic Association with a designation to Catholic Seminary of Riga. Services entrusted to Feeney-Hornak Mortuary.
Memorial tributes may be offered at http://www.feeneyhornakkeystone.com.
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