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Viola (Brakovskis) Lacis
May 23, 1932 ~ July 26, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
Read more about the life story of Viola and share your memory.
We are heartbroken to announce the death of our dearly beloved mother Viola (Vīja) Lācis, 91, of Simi Valley, California, who passed away from natural causes on Wednesday, July 26, 2023. She was the wife of our devoted father Jānis Lācis, her husband of almost 70 years, and we all miss her immensely.
Viola was born in Tilza, Latvia, on May 23, 1932, and was the only child of Adolfs and Aleksandra Brakovskis (nee Purnins). She fled with her family as refugees to Germany during World War II and spent 5 years at Displaced Persons Camp Fischbach before arriving in America in 1949. Originally settling in Schenectady, New York, at the home of her family’s American sponsor, Viola and her parents made their way to Willimantic, Connecticut, joining other Latvian refugees who found jobs and established a shared community there. Viola graduated from Windham High School in Willimantic in 1952 and two years later married Jānis in the same city. Viola and Jānis raised their family in Reisterstown, Maryland. She enjoyed being active volunteering at her children’s schools, gardening, reading, playing cards and board games, traveling (including several trips back to her Latvian homeland), and belonging to Mah Jong, and Bridge clubs throughout her adult life; when her children were older she worked as a bookkeeper for a local business. She was passionate about her family (and cat Lizee) and enjoyed beyond measure spending time with family as both a grandmother and great-grandmother. A resident of Simi Valley, California since 1980, Viola was a decades-long member of the Los Angeles Latvian Evangelical Lutheran church and served for years as the treasurer of the women’s auxiliary, Viola is survived by her husband Jānis and their three children: Andris (Tracy) Lacis of Reisterstown, MD; Ivars (Laura) Lacis of Peachtree City, GA; and Kaiva (Brian Huff) Lacis-Huff of Orange Beach, AL; as well as grandchildren Ashley Lacis, John (Anne) Lacis, Nicholas (Nicole) Lacis, Daniel (Macie) Lacis, Mary Lacis, Kristiann (Joshua) Sullivan, Benjamin (Alisha) Huff, and Kyle (Megan) Huff. Viola was blessed to have 9 great-grandchildren.
There will be a Funeral Service for Viola on Saturday, August 26, 2023 at 10:00 AM at Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson Street, Willimantic, CT. Burial will follow at the New Willimantic Cemetery, RT 32, Willimantic, CT.
Anyone wishing to make a donation in Viola’s memory may do so to the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church at 1927 Riverside Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90039.