Juris Andris Zankevics was born June 4, 1933, in Riga, Latvia, to Juris and Erna (Feils) Zankevics. He was raised in Riga and at the age of 10 moved with his parents to Germany. At the age of 14, Juris left his parents when the opportunity came to move to America and settle with a family in Minnesota. Following graduation from Patrick Henry High School Juris enlisted in the US Army and was stationed in Germany. While in Germany he was able to reunite for a time with his parents. Following his honorable discharge he returned to Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota, receiving his Bachelor’s Degree. He moved for a time to New York, later returning to Minnesota. He married Vaira Deme in 1962. After marriage they bought a farm in Bridgewater Township, where together Juris and Vaira spent many years breeding and showing sheep. Juris worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation until retiring in 1996. Vaira passed away on December 11, 2009. He enjoyed sports, visiting with people, politics, reading and animals. Juris was hardworking, a devoted husband, and at heart – a true Latvian.
Survivors include his cousins Amalda Zake of Riga, Latvia, Beatrice Trueblood of Mexico City, Baiba Kelley of Clarksville, Tennessee, Ineze Zake of Riga, Edwina Burns of Mexico City, Adrian Burns of Mexico City, Daniel (Christine) Kelley of Nerstrand, Christina (Christopher) Burawa of Clarksville; his nephew Richard (Deborah) Deme of Prescott, Wisconsin; his god-daughter Marta Zake of Riga; other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents and his sister.
Juris passed away with his family and friends by his side on Wednesday afternoon, March 26, 2014, at the Northfield Hospital Long Term Care Center, at the age of 80.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00AM, Friday, April 4, 2014, at Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church in Minneapolis with Rev. Dag Demandt officiating. Visitation will be at the church one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com