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Dr. Janis Upitis, 93

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Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 1:48 pm

Dr. Janis Upitis, 93, a former physician at St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, died on Saturday, Sept. 22 in Texas.

Private services were held on Tuesday, Sept. 25, and burial was in Glenwood Cemetery. Earthman Bellaire Funeral Home in Bellaire, TX, was in charge of arrangements.

Dr. Upitis was born in Madona, Latvia on July 9, 1919, the son of the late Peteris Upitis and Elina Plikausis. He married Graciela Pezzia, and she preceded him in death.

He began his life adventures and university studies in Riga, Latvia, where he studied art before later focusing on a medical career in post war Europe. He studied medicine in Germany and worked with the United States Army in caring for people upon the liberation and reconstruction of Germany. He then moved to America for a new life in Boston.

Dr. Upitis later moved to Chicago and then to central Illinois where he practiced medicine for over 30 years, primarily in Litchfield and Lincoln. He was a general and emergency room physician who eventually specialized in radiology.

While living in rural Illinois, he could be found chopping wood or cross country skiing to get to the hospital when the roads became impassable.

A lifelong lover of arts and science, Dr. Upitis had a passion for photographing nature, reading and writing short stories. He loved new places and cultures.

During a visit to Lima, Peru, he met his wife, Graciela. They spent 46 years together enjoying traveling, the arts, literature, current events and most of all their cats.

Dr. Upitis spent the last 22 years of his life in League City and Bellaire near Houston, TX, where he and his wife moved to be close to their daughter and to enjoy warmer weather.

According to his family, he was a quiet, soft-spoken man with a quick and wry sense of humor who sought out and lived for nature. In his later years, he became a benefactor of causes, including the Humane Society, the environment and Native Americans.

Dr. Upitis is survived by a daughter, Susan DiCioccio; son-in-law, Thomas Gaseor; and granddaughters, Monica and Laura.

Besides his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a sister, Tatjana Upitis.

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