On April 8, 2019, Austra Reiters nee, Dikmanis passed away peacefully after a noteworthy and fulfilling life of 105 years. As an Latvian born on June 17, 1913 she survived the ravages of both WWl and WWll. During the Soviet occupation of Latvia at the end of the Second World War, at age 27 she was forced to flee her homeland and seek refuge in the Allied Forces Displaced Persons Camps in then defeated Nazi Germany. Subsequently, she emigrated to London, England in 1947 where she married her university colleague, Ludvigs Reiters. Their son, Janis, was born in 1951. They emigrated to America in 1957 to join her husband’s sister’s family in Boston. The family prospered and soon moved to Newton, MA and upon retirement built a home in Natick on the shores of Lake Cochituate. As a young girl, Austra grew up on a farm and was the first in her family to graduate from the University Latvia. Austra spent most of her professional life working in cancer research at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute in Boston. She is survived by her son, Janis Reiters and wife Paula of Natick, MA and her granddaughter Juliana of Denver, CO. Services for Austra will be held at the Latvian Lutheran Church of Boston, 58 Irving Street, Brookline, MA on April 16, 2019 at 11am. Burial shall take place immediately thereafter at The Gethsemane Cemetery, 670 Baker Street, West Roxbury. As a result of the occupation, Austra’s parents were deported to Siberia where her mother died and her father survived for 25 years. In lieu of flowers she wishes that memorial donations in the name of Austra Reiters be made to The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia 1940-1991. Donations are payable to OMFA, c/o Ilze Resnis, 10930 Nollwood Drive, Chardon, OH 44024.
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