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

People of importance ... The celebration for Dr. George Mangulis brought acknowledgements of honor from the President of Latvia, the Governor of South Dakota, the S.D. Secretary of Agriculture, Philip Mayor John Hart, the S.D. Medical Assoc., the S.D. Academy of Family Practice Physicians and so many others. All through the day, Mangulis’ biggest fan was sitting next to him – his wife Rasma Lielmane.

On Saturday, March 5, the town of Philip and other well-wishers from in-state and out-of-state honored Dr. George J. Mangulis. His loyalty to his profession and his 50 years of loyalty to the Philip area was noted by many, many people.

The doors of the fine arts building of the Philip High School officially opened at 2:00 p.m. for cake and coffee and punch. But, the building was full of activity long before that. Many guests wore lapel cards that read “I was delivered by Dr. Mangulis.” The day’s itinerary finally stopped growing early Saturday morning, according to Philip Health Services’ Kim Kanable, one of the many people who pulled the activities together.

At 2:30, the master of ceremonies, South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Larry Gabriel, lead the tribute to Dr. Mangulis. A proclamation from South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds was read by Roger Porch. Philip Mayor John Hart read a mayoral proclamation. LeeAnn Knutson narrate d a “this is your life” type of history of Dr. Mangulis’ influence on Philip, while the Philip Drama Club illustrated parts of his life through short skits. A 10-minute picture video further depicted Dr. Mangulis’ life in the Philip area.

The entertainment list was extensive. The Haakon County Crooners, directed by Marlis Doud, sang the Latvian National Anthem. Heather Finn played the United States National Anthem on her alto saxophone, and Cassidy Smith sang “God Bless the U.S.A.”

Dr. Mangulis spoke as well.

There were displays filled with baby pictures of people Dr. Mangulis delivered. Some of these included entire households and several generations. Copies of interesting papers also were displayed; letters recruiting Dr. Mangulis to come to Philip; old bills on what a delivery cost back when; heartfelt notes of appreciation and love. These were given to the doctor as keepsakes.

Dr. Paul Dzintars was here. He is another Latvian doctor who came to South Dakota at about the same time as Dr. Mangulis. They worked together in Philip for around a year before Dzintars moved to Faith.

Other dignitaries represented the South Dakota Medical Association, the South Dakota Academy of Family Practice Physicians, and many others – not the least being Board President Charlie Ekstrum, who represented Philip Health Services.

The celebration was planned to conclude at 4:00 p.m., but ran past 5:00. The informal time at 6:00 p.m. at The Steakhouse for supper with Dr. Mangulis was full of family and friends.