MIDDLEBURY — Kris Keggi passed away peacefully and unexpectedly in his home on July 4, 2023.
His extraordinary life began in Riga, Latvia, on Aug. 9, 1934, when he was born to Janis and Ruta Keggi (née Berzins), the second of four brothers. In October 1949, the Keggi family arrived in the United States as immigrant refugees.
It is impossible to overstate the opportunities America provided to the Keggis. Kristaps took full advantage of every one and gave back even more. Within 10 years of arriving in America he was a graduate of Yale on his way to becoming a doctor, a reservist in the U.S. Army and husband of Julia Grant Quarles.
Over the course of his life, he nobly served many people and institutions. His work in a M.A.S.H. unit in Vietnam, numerous contributions to the field of medicine in the U.S. and his native Latvia, and devotion to veterans are well known, documented elsewhere and in his recently published memoir, “My Century: A Memoir of War, Peace and Pioneering in the Operating Room.”
His life as husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather was also extraordinary. The last few weeks of his life were filled with family activities and events. He attended the college graduation of his twin grandsons, Alexander and Christopher Ford, from Fairfield University and the wedding of his granddaughter Julia Hunter in New Orleans.
Although no longer able to play golf, he continued to enjoy his affiliations with the Country Club of Waterbury and Highfield.
He was thinking about retiring, but maintained that working was his lifestyle of choice. He remained an active father, grandfather, teacher, mentor, healer and inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to know him.
He is survived by three daughters, Catherine Keggi Hunter (Howard), Mara Keggi Ford (Donald), Caroline Saunders Keggi (Connie Wilson); and five grandchildren, George Quarles Hunter (Caitlion), Julia Hunter Bookman (Zachary), Christopher Daly Ford, Alexander Walden Ford and Eliza Hannah Ford.
A memorial service was to be at the Middlebury Congregational Church, 1242 Whittemore Road, Middlebury, on Thursday, July 13, at 11 a.m. Everyone was asked to meet directly at the church. There was to be a visitation at Brookside Memorial, 200 Benson Road, Middlebury, on Wednesday, July 12, from 4 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Kristaps Keggi to the Keggi/Kimball Fund at Yale University, with the Keggi/Kimball Fund as the designation. Checks made out to Yale University, with Keggi/Kimball Fund written on the memo line, should be sent to Office of Development, Yale School of Medicine, Attn: Laura Wyrick, Box 7611, New Haven, CT 06519-0611; or to the Middlebury Congregational Church, 1242 Whittemore Road, Middlebury, CT 06762, Book of Remembrance at the MCC.