Philip mourns loss of dedicated doctor

Dr. Mangulis ... treated patients at Philip for 50-plus years. This file photo was taken in June 1985 when he was honored with South Dakota’s Physician’s Award for Community Service.

The man that devoted much of his life to his adopted community's well-being will be remembered at funeral services this Thursday.

Dr. George Mangulis passed away in Rapid City, Friday, December 11, at the age of 87. He will be remembered as the mainstay of Philip Health Services, treating area residents for more than 50 years.

Mangulis arrived in Philip in 1955. A March 1990 Pioneer Review story quoted Mangulis, "When I first started out, (during) my internship before moving here, I took a look at Philip, along with several other towns across the state, that I could choose from and I chose Philip. Philip looked like it had good prospects with the building of the new hospital and the people were real friendly."

The February 10, 1955, Pioneer Review reported: Dr. Mangulis And Wife Visit Philip - Members of the board of the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital (which was still being built) and other Philip business men conducted a tour of the city for Dr. and Mrs. Juris Mangulis Monday of this week. The doctor and his wife were in Philip to inspect living quarters and view progress at the hospital site.

Satisfactory living quarters have been obtained for the doctor and his family and work is to begin soon on office facilities in the Waddel building in Philip.

Dr. Mangulis indicated he is anxious to establish practice here and will move to Philip permanently as soon as office facilities are completed. Officials expect the installation of partitions and fixtures in the office quarters will begin very soon and should be completed in about 30 days.

Work at the hospital is progressing according to schedule and the institution should be ready for an opening in a few months.

Dr. Mangulis plans to make several trips to Philip between now and the time he and his family establish residence here, in order to keep a check on the progress of the office and to familiarize himself with the community."

At that time the community did not know that they would be getting a doctor that would devote himself whole-heartedly to his adopted town.

Mangulis established a new clinic, that he designed, next to the hospital within four years of his arrival. He was instrumental in keeping the Philip hospital open during many trials and tribulations. Other doctors would come join Mangulis, but none stayed for an extended period of time, until recent years.

Mangulis saw patients until just a few years ago. He gradually turned the reins over to Dr. Coen Klopper and Dr. Dave Holman.

Dr. Mangulis' obituary is located on page five of this issue of the Pioneer Review.