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|Austra Baunson Ilgis
December 30, 1917–April 26, 2012
|Austra Ilgis of Oxford Junction was born December 30, 1917, in the Cirguli region of Latvia to Peteris and Karline Baunson. She died on April 26, 2012, at the Jones Regional Medical Center.
Her childhood was spent in Valka, Latvia, with her siblings, Janis and Valentina, and stepsiblings, Elvira and Felix Gulbis. She graduated from the Jelgava State Teachers Institute, Jelgava, with a degree in teaching, where she also minored in music and danced ballet. She taught school in Latvia and, later in Germany, during World War II.
In 1940, she married Harijs Ilgis in Riga, where they lived. World War II saw them flee Latvia and live in several different countries in Europe. Harijs was in the army, so Austra had to move from country to country to keep her children and herself safe. They immigrated to America through Ellis Island in 1950 and lived in New York for a year before moving to Lost Nation, Iowa, and subsequently to Oxford Junction. Harijs "Harry" died in 1994.
She is survived by daughters, Alda Buresh, Coralville, Iowa, and Vaira (Jade) Gambrell, Hemphills, Texas; grandchildren, Charles Deese III, Skye (Tracy) Wimberley, Stacey (Randy) Christiansen, Joe (Rhonda) Buresh and Jeff (Kimberly) Buresh; great-grandchildren, Lori (Bob) Anderson, Brooke, Kelly, Ben and Beau Buresh, Tyler Buresh, Jordan Buresh, LeiLani Chostner and John Wimberley; a granddaughter-in-law, JoSandra; one sister Valentina Sikatere of Valmiera, Latvia; and two nieces and their families.
Preceding her in death were her parents, siblings and step-siblings, Janis Baunsons, Antonia, Elvira and Fleix Gulbis, son, Ivars Ilgis, and grandchildren, Dixie Buresh, Charles Deese II, Stephen S. Ilgis and Larry Buresh.
Austra will be remembered for her love of family, loyalty to friends, her quick wit, her passion for gardening, her courage, her love of traveling, and her zest for taking the "road less traveled." Austra enjoyed her garden, playing cards, and fishing.
Her wishes were to be cremated and not to have a formal service.
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