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Obituaries » Aija V. Kengis

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February 12, 1931 - December 13, 2019

A service to commemorate Aija’s life will be held on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church 1747 West Milham, Portage. Friends may greet the family one hour before the service beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the church. Those wishing to make a lasting gift in Aija’s memory are asked to consider the Latvian Center Garezers, the Kalamazoo Latvian Lutheran Church or Three Rivers Health Homecare and Hospice, c/o the funeral home.

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Age 88, passed away early on Friday, December 13, 2019. Aija was born on February 12. 1931 in Riga, Latvia, the daughter of Eduards and Austra (Augstkalns) Auseklis. Aija and her family left Latvia in 1944 when the Soviet Union invaded the country. After spending five years in a displaced persons camp in Germany, they emigrated to the United States in 1949. In 1955, she graduated from Carthage College with a degree in chemistry and then worked as a chemist for the Upjohn Company. On April 24, 1965, she married Andrejs Kengis who preceded her in death on November 30, 2011. Aija was very active in the Latvian community in Saginaw, Kalamazoo and the Latvian Center Garezers, where she worked for many years in the kitchen. She sang in many Latvian choirs throughout her life. She was a wonderful knitter and made things for a lot of people. She will be remembered as being a warm and kind hostess. Aija possessed the gift of friendship and she shared that freely with all who met her. She was a devoted wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. Aija is survived by her children, Arnis Kengis of Kalamazoo, Roberts (Shelley) Kengis of Plainwell, Peters (Stephanie Rose) Kengis of Wilmington, IL; grandchildren, Mikelis Kengis, Karlis Kengis, Vija Kengis, Elanore Kengis; brother, Alvis (Nancy) Auseklis of Sun Valley, ID; sisters, Rita Austrins of Kalamazoo, and Kristine Austrins of Kalamazoo; sister-in-law, Marty Austrins of Palmetto, FL; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her step-father; and a brother, Andris Austrins.