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Obituaries » Janis Laurens

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April 22, 1953 - November 29, 2020

A private graveside service to lay Janis to rest will be held at Riverside Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran United Church, Kalamazoo Latvian Hunting and Fishing Club or the Latvian Center Garezers, c/o the funeral home.

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Age 67, passed away on Sunday, November 29, 2020.  He was born in Kalamazoo, MI, on April 22, 1953, the son of the late Jazeps and Austra (Klive) Laurens.  He remained a lifetime resident of the Kalamazoo area and was always proud of his community and of his Latvian heritage.  Janis was kind, loving and helpful. He worked hard to provide for his family and was an accomplished general contractor.  When not working, his passion took him to the outdoors where he loved hunting, fishing, and action shooting.  He enjoyed spending days at his cottage at the Latvian Center Garezers, where he enjoyed boating, fishing and so many dear friendships.  He was an active member of the Kalamazoo Latvian Hunting and Fishing Club.  Janis had a firm faith in the Lord and was a member of the Latvian Church in Kalamazoo.  He enjoyed traditional Latvian music and Latvian cuisine.  Above all, Janis was a dedicated family man.  He was immensely proud of his children and grandchildren and he leaves behind the legacy of a life well lived.  On June 10, 1972, he married the love of his life Maruta (Smits) Laurens who preceded him in passing in 2018.  He was also preceded in passing by three siblings, Austra Rinkuss, Peteris Laurens and Mikelis Laurens.  He is survived by two loving sons, Janis (Mara) Laurens and Andrejs (Tegan) Laurens; two adorable granddaughters, Ella and Olivia Laurens; two siblings, Marite Strautins and Jazeps Laurens; a goddaughter, Laila (Chris) Porter; brother-in-law, Janis Smits; and so many close friends.