Aina-Galejs Dravnieks-Obituary

Dr. Aina Galejs Dravnieks

Minneapolis, Minnesota


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Galejs Dravnieks, Dr. Aina Passed away peacefully the morning of December 3, 2013 at the age of 88. She was born to the late Julijs and Erna Galejs, a family of doctors, on April 14, 1925, in Riga, Latvia. She finished high school in Latvia but was forced to join other refugees and flee the Soviet invasion of Latvia in 1944. Aina received her medical degree from the University of Hamburg in Germany in 1950. In 1951 she relocated to the US and became a certified doctor. Aina got married in 1952 to her husband, Fricis Dravnieks, whom she met earlier in Germany. They lived together for 49 years until Fricis's death in 2001. From 1956 to 2002 Dr. Aina Galejs worked as a pathologist in MN and ND. Dr. Galejs legacy has been supporting Latvian youth through several scholarship funds in her name. One of the largest funds was at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In 2001 Dr. Galejs received the "Order of the Three Stars" from the President of Latvia -one of the highest civilian awards for merits in service for Latvia. In 2006, Dr. Galejs received an Honorary Alumnus Award from UWEC. She received the "Pride of Latvia" award in 2009. In 2010, Dr. Galejs became an Honorary Member of the University of Latvia. Aina was preceded in death by her beloved husband Fricis Dravnieks in 2001 and by her brother Janis Galejs in 1972. She is survived by her devoted nieces and nephews, Sandra Galejs (Peter Warren) and Robert (Denise) Galejs and great nieces. A funeral service for Aina will be on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 11 am with visitation one hour prior at the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3152 17th Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55407. Memorials are requested for the Dr. Aina Galejs Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation. Checks may be sent to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, Box 4004, Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004 or given online at cardvalidation/
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.

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I just found out recently that Aina has passed away. I am so sorry for your loss. She was an amazing woman. I lived on 20 Vincent Avenue for many years and enjoyed talking to her on our street. I was amazed at how strong she was and what an awesome gardener she was as well. She could haul huge amounts of yard waste to the woods. We always loved when she chopped ice from the driveway and threw it in the road. She always had a smile on her face. She was such a good role model for women of all...

Aina's student ID from medical school

Goodbye to my beloved aunt and godmother. You were a shining example, and wonderful company. I have learned so much from you. With love from Sandra.

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