Aldonis Mezsets passed away peacefully on January 8, 2021. He was born on May 9, 1930 in Koknese, Latvia, son of Karlis and Olga Mezsets (Lasis). Following the annexation of Latvia by the USSR during World War II, he and his family came to the United States in 1950 under the International Refugee Program and lived in Lawrence, MI until 1956, when they settled in Kalamazoo.
Only 6 months after arriving in the United States, Aldonis was drafted into the US Army and served in the Korean War as a combat veteran. When he returned home, he was employed as a truck driver for Lawrence Foods and worked on the family farm. Aldonis moved to Kalamazoo and worked for Gilmore as a mechanic for several years until he started work at Upjohn Pharmaceuticals until retirement as the lead chemical operator. On July 11, 1959 Aldonis married his beloved wife, Ruta, whom he spent 59 years with her until her passing in 2018. Aldonis loved his family and cherished spending time and making memories with them while camping and fishing. Additionally, he served as a pastor's assistant and church maintenance provider doing any job required at the Latvian Church of Kalamazoo.
Aldonis had a love for animals and spent much of his time after retirement serving at the Kalamazoo County Animal Shelter and was the author and producer of the "Doggie in the Window," program which helped animals be found and adopted.
Aldonis is preceded in death by his wife, parents, and sister, Spidola Kajaks. He is survived by his son, Eriks (Kris) Mezsets; daughter, Norma (Daryl) Stevens; grandchildren: Mara (Dan) Asher, Justin (Keeley) Mezsets, Aleksandra (Derrick) Young; great-grandchildren: Landon James Asher and Easton Karlis Asher.
Due to gathering limitations at this time, a graveside memorial service will be held for Aldonis at a later date. Interment will take place at Riverside Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in honor of Aldonis to the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran United Church of Kalamazoo or to Kalamazoo County Animal Services.
Please visit Aldonis's tribute wall to leave a condolence, personal message or memory of him.