OBITUARY

John A. Ducmanis

Passed away on May 14, 2019
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John Ducmanis was born Janis Andrjes Ducmanis in Riga, Latvia, on December 12, 1938. He passed away in the early hours of May 14, 2019, in Ann Arbor, MI, not long after enjoying dinner at home with his wife of 40 years, Eileen Wilkinson. The space between these two moments was filled with a life comprised of much joy and much sorrow. When his surviving family members have a bit more time, we will tell you more about John’s long and interesting life.

For now, there will be a memorial service Saturday, May 18, 2pm, at Meulig Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His family invite all who wish to to share a story or a memory of John. There will be a sharing time during the service, and for anyone who cannot attend or isn’t fond of public speaking, please feel free to reach out to us and share your story that way. We are more than happy to share your remembrances and more than honored to hear them. Thank you. More to come.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, May 18, 2019
  • Celebration of John's Life Saturday, May 18, 2019

Memories

John A. Ducmanis

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Pam Parisi

May 20, 2019

It was a pleasure to get to know John while cutting his hair at contempo salon for a few years. One thing he never let me do was trim his eye brows because they were his trade mark even though I wanted to. We had a few laughs and I enjoyed his stories. I am sorry for your loss God bless you. Pam⚘

Norm Langeland

May 18, 2019

My sympathy to your family in the loss of John. I met him soon after his arrival in Kalamazoo. His father, although well educated and part of a group of displaced persons from Latvia, sought any employment to support his family. John’s father was employed as a custodian at Kalamazoo Christian High School and John became part of our class of 1956. We lived not too far from each other and John would visit our home occasionally which was on the upper level of our family’s funeral home. As is often the case, we lost track of each other after high school. I’m glad you placed the notice in the Kalamazoo paper.

Leonard Hastings

May 18, 2019

I was saddened to learn of an old friend’s passing. John and I were neighbors in SE Ann Arbor in the seventies, both married with children. My memories of Ingrid and Annie are of two young girls who played at the time with my two children. It was a neighborhood full of young families with children, as happy a time as nostalgia allows. Later, in that same decade, my life and then John’s abruptly changed, and for a year he and I were bachelors once again, now sharing a townhouse in NE Ann Arbor. John and I were initially paired by proximity and later by common loss. During the year he and I were roommates, I came to appreciate him for his thought and humor. I know his words helped sustain me, I can only hope that I was his equal in these instances. After this brief chapter in our respective lives, we went our separate ways, John having met Eileen, the love of this life. I am regretful that the initial bond that briefly connected John and I never flourished beyond this time. However, then as now, I regard him as a kindly, gentle man with whom I was fortunate to have shared some time however brief. I extend my heartfelt desire that same kindly spirit that was John’s inner being will sustain his family in this time and beyond. My condolences to Eileen, his loving wife, and to Ingrid and Annie, his devoted children.

Dzintars Dzilna

May 17, 2019

Dear Ducmanis family,

Please accept our condolences. Through John, we share a common history, and more important, kinship that keeps us together through good times and bad. Wishing John and you peace and love.

Vieglas smiltis Jānim!

Mara and Gunta Grislis, and Dzintars Dzilna

Betsy Hoyt Feinberg

May 16, 2019

When I was a sophomore at Kalamazoo College, I spent hours practicing piano at the music house. Janis was often there playing, and I was awestruck at his mastery of Bach. I don't know if he, too, was a student of Harry Ray, but I remember Mr. Ray saying how impressed he was with Janis. I remember him as a think-outside-the-box guy, and I remember wondering how his life would play out, what his path would be, given his immense intelligence and varied interests. I married and transferred to the University of Michigan after my junior year. I never saw Janis again, much to my regret. Forgive me for calling him Janis, but I never knew him as John. It was great sorrow that I read of his passing. He was always an inspiration to me.

Barbara Richardson

May 16, 2019

Eileen, Ingrid and Annie
Although we won’t be able to be there in person, we will be keeping all in our thoughts and prayers as you move through this time.
John will be missed by all and we will remember all the times together - family reunions, parties and other celebrations.
Hugs
Barbara and Gil

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
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FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY