Ivars Kirsteins 89 of Cranston, Rhode Island passed away peacefully at Kent Hospital on September 5, 2018 following a brief illness. His life was until recently both healthy and joyous. He is survived by his wife of almost 64 years Silvija and daughter Andra of Cranston, son Ivars and daughter-in-law Cynthia Drummond of Charlestown, Rhode Island and his cousin Dzidra Kraulis and children of Chicago, Illinois
Ivars was born in Riga, Latvia on April 9, 1929 to Otto and Emma Kirsteins. He grew up in Riga and spent summers with his family on the beautiful beaches of Jurmala where he acquired his love of the sea, sports and the outdoors. Ivars and his family would spend many hours at the beach or on their father’s power boat enjoying the sea, going on picnics and in the winter, cross-country skiing in Riga and along the Baltic coast. The family also had a passion for the arts. His mother was an opera singer and his late sister Aina Licis was a concert pianist. In 1944 when the Soviets advanced on Latvia and occupied the country, the family was forced to flee to Germany to escape Communist oppression and possible imprisonment and/or deportation. They lived in Germany for almost five years before emigrating to the United States and settling in Manchester, New Hampshire where Ivars worked at the local hospital.
Ivars eventually moved to Rhode Island with his mother and sister and it was there that he met his wife Silvija also of Latvia who was living in Boston. They married in 1954 and settled in Cranston where they raised their two children. Ivars worked as a machinist at Browne and Sharpe, the Bulova Watch Company, and finally Taco before retiring.
Ivars’ two greatest passions were the ocean and downhill skiing. When he arrived in Rhode Island he developed a love of fishing off the south coast beaches and spending summer days at Charlestown Beach. He also enjoyed boating on Narragansett Bay and fishing, clamming and swimming off Prudence Island. Having learned cross country skiing from his father in Latvia, Ivars expanded his repertoire of winter sports to include downhill skiing. An avid skier into his late 70s, he enjoyed the sport with his family in the mountains of Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts. Ivars will be greatly missed by his wife, children, family and friends.
Funeral Services and Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in memory of Ivars’ love for Narragansett Bay may be made to Save the Bay 100 Save The Bay Drive Providence, RI 02905.
Ashwin - 10/28/2018
I was lucky enough to visit the house a few times and see the man in Action as I am friends with his son. He had an infectious energy about him. A very warm and loving person. Heartfelt condolences.