Erika Spelmanis

Erika Spelmanis

Erika B. Spelmanis, 94, Bismarck, died March 9, 2019, at Prairie Point Assisted Living, Bismarck.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Eastgate Funeral Service, 2302 E. Divide Ave., Bismarck, with the Rev. Mary Lou Aune officiating. There will be no viewing as cremation has taken place. Family will greet visitors one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

Erika Biruta Velde Spelmanis was born in Riga, Latvia, March 26, 1924, to Karlis Velde and Marija Gratulevic Velde. She was raised in Latvia until World War II, then fled to Germany where she attended nursing school. There she met the love of her life, Ed Spelmanis, in a refugee camp sponsored by the United States. There, both Erika and Edgar worked for the camp to help resettle other refugees and began their family in Germany.

When they were selected for resettlement to the United States, they traveled to Bremmerhoffen, Germany, and from there came to the United States on the USS Sturgis in 1949. They settled in North Dakota where she worked at Bismarck Hospital until her retirement in 1989. She enjoyed sewing and needle working when time allowed while raising her family. She loved cooking Latvian cuisine, her pet Westie, Bailey, and mostly her grandchildren and great-grandchild. Erika and Edgar built their home in 1959 and resided there until moving to assisted living at Prairie Point in November 2018.

She is survived by her husband of 72 years, Edgar Spelmanis; son, Egon (Mary) Spelmanis, Denver; daughter, Elaine Cofell (Wayne Axtman), Bismarck; grandchildren, Aaron and Adrian Cofell; great-grandchild, Ayden Cofell; a niece and family still in Latvia.

She was preceded in death by her parents; parents-in-law; sister; and son-in-law, Neil Cofell.

Go to www.eastgatefuneral.com to share memories of Erika and sign the online guest book.

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