Vilis M. Barevics

Vilis M. Barevics (BS Civ Egr '62) died December 24, 2010. He was born August 3, 1939, in Riga, Latvia, on the eve of World War II, the only child of Francis and Austra Barevics. As the country was overrun by Soviet, German, and again Soviet troops, the family fled the conflict. They spent the first post-war years in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany, eventually immigrating to the U. S. where they settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Only a few years later his father died leaving a 15-year-old Barevics feeling responsible for his mother and their well-being, a sense of responsibility that stayed with him throughout his life.

He graduated from South High in Grand Rapids in three years. After receiving his BS degree, from MSU, Barevics began graduate studies at MSU, but after an internship at Boeing in Seattle, he stayed on at Boeing and transferred to the University of Washington, where he completed his master’s degree in engineering. During his many years at Boeing he worked on several programs, including the SST program where he was instrumental in the development of the early computing tools for stress analysis and testing. He joined the 767 program at the beginning and worked for the program through final certification of the aircraft, including a year as part of the Boeing stress engineering support team in Japan. In addition, he obtained an MBA degree from Pacific Lutheran University, and was involved in financial and real estate projects with the Seattle Latvian community.

After retiring from Boeing in 1999 he served as president of the Bellevue Sister Cities Association, and as a member of the board of his Latvian fraternity Lettonia. He enjoyed travel, including annual visits to his roots in Latvia. He is survived by his daughter Emily Barevics of Seattle; half-sister Silvija Mara Lee of Toledo, Ohio; step-brother John Ritums of Lake Oswego, Ore.; and relatives in Germany and Latvia.