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Dr. George Mangulis honored for 50 years of service to Philip

A grand celebration is scheduled to honor Dr. George J. Mangulis and his continuing service to the Philip community. Dr. Mangulis will have served as a doctor in Philip for 50 years as of March 5th. This is not a retirement party; he plans on staying active for quite a long time.

The celebration will be from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building at the Philip High School on Saturday, March 5.

“We are honoring Dr. G. J. Mangulis, but he honors all physicians, especially those who stay in a small community.” said David Dick, CEO of Philip Health Services. Mayor Hart emphasizes, “He was the hospital at one time.”

The celebration will include a “This is Your Life” theme with speeches by dignitaries. Dr. Mangulis plans on giving a small talk. He has mixed feelings about the whole event; mostly good. He has realized that quite a few people are no longer here. He said, “There is a little that is sad; I sometimes forget my age and would like my parents to be there.”

Mangulis has an overflowing wealth of memories, experiences and advice. Much of it is being looked into for the celebration.

Mangulis is 82 years old and still putting in his shifts. His only concession is that he no longer is on night calls. Still speaking with a comforting Latvian accent, he has been asked in the past where he was from. At first he would answer, “Nebraska.” After moving to South Dakota, he answered, “Sioux Falls.” For the last 50 years, with the same Latvian accent and grin, he answers, “Philip.”

Mangulis has no plans on retiring. Given the choice to still be working after 100, he questions back, “If possible, why not?” And he will be practicing in Philip because, “Philip is the most beautiful city in the world.”

He was originally told by his internship head that, “Work in the country will be harder than during internship.” It was. Mangulis said, “If someone is really sick, I am never tired. Sometimes you get very little sleep. I had 70-80 deliveries my first year. That kept you not sleeping.” He loves his wife and children, but a doctor’s life makes him wonder if “doctors and nurses should never be married.” Mangulis quietly said, “You have to find your own ways to get time off.”

Dr. Mangulis has delivered around 1,000 babies during his time in Philip.

Were you delivered by Dr. Mangulis? If so, please send in a baby picture; an extra copy, a photocopy, or a scanned and e-mailed copy; and appropriate information to the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital, care of Kim Kanable, 503 W. Pine, Philip, SD 57567 or kkanable@rcrh.org.