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Obituaries » Daina Melbardis

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October 1, 1933 - April 11, 2023

A service in witness to Daina’s life and faith will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran United Church, 100 Cherry Hill St., Kalamazoo, with her Pastor Aija Graham officiating. A graveside service will follow at Riverside Cemetery where Daina will be laid to rest next to her husband. Memorial contributions may be given to Lativian Evangelical Lutheran United Church or Latvian Center Garazers, in c/o the funeral home.

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Age 89, passed away on Tuesday afternoon, April 11, 2023. Daina was born in Rauna, Latvia, on October 1, 1933, the daughter of Edgars and Irma (Smukulis) Strautnieks. On May 19, 1956, she married John Ojars Melbardis who preceded her in death in 2001. In her younger years, Daina played volleyball on the Saginaw Daugavas Vanagi (D.V.) Team. She was very proud of her time with the Girl Scouts, having grown up in a scouting family. Daina loved music and enjoyed singing in several choirs, including IDVASA and later in Ciema Balsis. As part of her Latvian heritage she enjoyed dancing Latvian folk dances in Jautrais Solis. Daina was active on many levels in the greater Latvian community as a volunteer with D.V. and as part of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran United Church, where she also served as a board member. Daina enjoyed travelling back to Latvia to visit family and to other worldwide destination as well. She loved flowers, both in her garden and as a florist. Nothing was more important to her than her family and she was very proud of them all. Daina is survived by her sons, Edwin (Mara) Melbardis of Kalamazoo and Normand (Ieva) Melbardis of San Jose, CA; daughter-in-law, Dace Melbardis of Riga, Latvia; grandchildren, Larisa (Scott) Applegate, Kalvis Melbardis, Markus Melbardis, Aleksandrs Melbardis, Niklavs Melbardis, Daniels Melbardis; siblings, Gundars (Astrida) Strautnieks and Brive (Viesturs) Grasmanis. Besides her husband, Daina was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Viktors Melbardis; an uncle, Vilis Smukulis.