Folsom Funeral Service

Alksnitis, Zelma

Zelma Alksnītis, (nee Vēzis), Jan. 31, 1917- Feb. 24, 2011. Born in Rybinsk, Russia during WWI to Latvian refugee parents Eda and Pēteris Vēzis, Zelma was a young child  when the family returned to Ventspils, Latvia, after years of crossing and recrossing Siberia. She grew up in Ventspils, where she received elementary schooling and also finished business school. Her home church was the Ventspils Baptist Church, where she was baptized and later married to Oskars N. Alksnītis on October 26, 1940.  Soon thereafter,  Zelma and Oskars were forced to flee due to World War II, and escaped by fishing boat crossing the Baltic Sea by night in October, 1944 to Sweden.  While in Sweden, Zelma and Oskars had two children, Juris (b. 1945) and Dzintars (b. 1948).  In Sweden, Zelma used her gifts in music –  teaching piano and recorder to help make ends meet.  The family Alksnītis emigrated to the  USA, arrived in Boston in April, 1956 and subsequently lived in Newton for many years. All  became naturalized US citizens, Zelma on May 14, 1962.  Zelma and Oskars worked hard to make their way in their new land, with Zelma taking different jobs to help support the family.  Eventually she was able to utilize her business education, working  in accounting at Star Market, and later in the City of Newton Comptroller’s Department, from which she retired.  Zelma and Oskars participated actively in the Latvian community in Boston, and were members of the Latvian Baptist Church of Boston, where Zelma sang in the choir for many years and also served as accompanist. In addition, Zelma was  a member of the Womens’ Missionary Society at her church and served as a teacher at the Latvian School in Brookline, MA. Widowed on May 2, 1981, Zelma later joined the household  of Juris and Judith Alksnītis and their children, all moving together to Dover, MA in January, 1986 where  Zelma was able to be closer to family and enjoy her granddaughters. She worked closely with them helping them learn about their Latvian heritage and language, and also encouraged them in music. Zelma also provided  significant support to all her grandchildren assisting them in acquiring higher education. An avid gardener, Zelma greatly enjoyed flowers and also birding. Following a paralyzing stroke in November, 2004, Zelma moved in January, 2005 to Stone Institute, Newton Upper Falls, MA, where she faced and overcame  multiple serious health challenges, until succumbing to cancer at age 94.  Zelma is survived by her children Juris and Dzintra, daughter-in-law Judith, grandson Nicholas Alksnītis, and granddaughters Zaiga, Maija, and Silvija Alksnītis, and granddaughter Liāna Lloyd (Nathan Lloyd).  Funeral services will take place on Wednesday, March 2, at 10:30AM, United Church of Christ in Medfield, MA, followed by interment at the Gardens at Gethsemane, West Roxbury, MA. All are welcome to the subsequent collation at UCC Medfield. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Latvian Baptist Church (c/o Juris Alksnitis, 10 Rocky Brook Rd., Dover, MA 02030)  in support of ministry to special needs children in Latvia, honoring Zelma’s concern for those  most in need.   

Guestbook Entries

  1. George H Butlers M.D.
    February 28th, 2011 | 6:25 pm

    Sirsnīgu līdzjūtību jūsu gimenei šinī sēru brīdī! Georgs un Pēteris ar gimenēm.

  2. Helen Wolf
    February 28th, 2011 | 9:55 pm

    Zelma, how blessed you are to be in the Presence of the Lord God whom you loved and served all of your life on this earth. Your love for Him was manifested in the love you exhibited to those who needed care, and the love you lived for your family. You are missed!

  3. Beka Rideout
    March 1st, 2011 | 1:55 am

    Thinking and praying for you today our dear Alksnitis friends. May God cover you with His peace as you celebrate your dear Mom and Grandma.

  4. Jacqueline Moody
    March 1st, 2011 | 9:28 am

    She will be missed. I loved her too.

  5. Suzanne Hevelone
    March 2nd, 2011 | 2:46 am

    How wonderful was her life, lived in Christ. My heart goes out to you as you mourn.

Sign the Guestbook

Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service