Father Vitolds Valainis, a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport, died March 22 in Iowa City. He was 81.
He was born in Aglona, Latvia, to Donatas and Monika Valainis. His family fled to Germany in 1944 after the Soviet Union reoccupied Latvia. The family intended to return, but when they realized it was not possible, they came to United States in 1949.
The future priest graduated from St. Joseph School, St. Ambrose Academy and St. Ambrose College in Davenport. He completed his theology studies at Mt. St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. On June 4, 1966, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Ralph Hayes at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.
Father Valainis served at St. Mary Parish in Keokuk, St. Mathias Parish in Muscatine, St. Patrick Parish in Burlington and St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City. For 32 years he served as a chaplain at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.
His funeral was held March 26 at the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City. Burial will be at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Davenport.
In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to the Catholic Chaplaincy Program at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.