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Janis Gailitis, M.D.
NEWPORT - Dr. Janis Gailitis,

92, of Newport, died on Saturday, January 5, 2008, at his home.
Born in Smiltene, Latvia, on September 14, 1915, he was the son of Toms Gailitis and Paulina (Brewelis) Gailitis.
He graduated first in his class from the Faculty of Medicine at the State University of Latvia in Riga where he was subsequently given a faculty appointment.
During WWII, Dr. Gailitis and his wife, Marta (Svekris) Gailitis, and infant daughter Mara, were refugees in Germany. At the conclusion of the war, he worked as a physician for the British Army of the Rhine attending to displaced persons.
A meeting with an American doctor, Alex M. Burgess of Providence, at a medical conference in Gottingen, Germany, resulted in the family emigrating to the United States in 1950, after securing an affidavit from the Unitarian Church humanitarian effort, which helped individuals find new homes and work.
Newport would be his home for the rest of his life. After passing the medical boards in 1954, he resumed his medical career as an internist. With his wife serving as his nurse, he devoted the next half-century to the care of the sick. He served as Chief of Medicine of Newport Hospital from 1976 to 1983.
Dr. Gailitis retired at 88 but still made daily visits to Newport Hospital, which he had helped develop into a first-rate health facility. He was a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and was the recipient of the Irving Addison Beck Laureate Award in 1991.
Besides medicine, his other passions were gardening and music. He was an ardent supporter of the Newport Music Festival and a member of the Preservation Society of Newport County.
He leaves two daughters, Mara Koppel of Chicago, and Anda Weyher of Wilton, Connecticut and a son Peter Gailitis of Newport. He had four grandchildren, Lily, Niko, Harry and Jesse.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Newport Music Festival, P.O. Box 3300, Newport, RI 02840.
Arrangements are being made by Hambly Funeral Home, “Brick House”, 30 Red Cross Avenue.

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