Zigurds J. Lieljuris
SGM Zigurds J. Lieljuris, US Army (Ret.), born January 19, 1931, in Jelgava Latvia passed away at the age of 92 in New Jersey on August 8, 2023.
From 1948-1951, Zigurds voluntarily joined the British Army Watchman Service, and after the training, served in various British Army installations in Germany. In 1951 he emigrated to the United States and in March 1952 was drafted into the US Army and served his first tour in Korea. He reenlisted in 1953 and proudly served in the United States Army for 30 years. During his military career, Zigurds was assigned in countries around the world such as Germany, Korea, and Vietnam. He was stationed in Germany with his family in 1967-1969, where he then went from the Infantry Combat Division to the 101st Airborne Division, till the completion of his military career. Zigurds has been awarded multiple medals, honors and citations over his military career including Purple Hearts and Bronze Stars. In September 1982, SGM Zigurds J. Lieljuris retired, receiving the Legion of Merit medal, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service.
Zigurds devoted endless hours and knowledge in service to his home country of Latvia from the late 1990s into the early 2000s. As a leading advisor to the National Defence Academy of Latvia, he served to establish a curriculum and meet compliance requirements to guarantee Latvia’s membership into NATO. Latvia joined NATO in 2002.
Throughout his life, Zigurds enjoyed the Red Sox, Atlantic City, playing tennis, golf and soccer (which he also refereed). Lifetime memberships: 101st Airbourne Division Association, VFW, DAV, AUSA, Pershing Rifles Co K-8 of National Society of Pershing Rifles, National Rifle Association and two Latvian Associations, the DV and LKIA.
Zigurds is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Gertraud; his daughter, Syndia Lieljuris and sons Zigurds K Lieljuris (Janice Bosch) and Harolds Lieljuris; his grandchildren, Kristin Negron (Raul), Alexandra O’Malley (Kyle), Madaleine Henegar (Frank), Brien Lieljuris; great grandchildren, Jaxson and Cooper Burke. He was predeceased by his daughter Monica Lieljuris.
Family and friends are invited to attend Zigurds’ memorial service on Monday, August 14, 2023 from 6-8 PM at Sweeney’s Funeral Home in Riverside NJ. Interment on Wednesday August 16th, 2:30 pm at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown, NJ.