In Memory of




Obituary for Valdis G. Smits

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Life Story

Valdis George Smits ,74, of Acton, MA, passed away in his home on April 15th, 2020.

Valdis was born in a World War II refugee camp in Apolda, Germany in 1945. His parents, escaping Soviet occupation of Latvia, lived in refugee camps for several years before emigrating to the United States in 1949, and settling in St. Paul, Minnesota.

He earned his Bachelor of Design in Architecture at the University of Minnesota, and received his Master in Architecture from M.I.T.

Valdis was a distinguished Rotch Scholar, and had a successful and acclaimed career spanning over 40 years. He worked for several Boston design firms; but primarily his own business, Smits Associates Architects, before retiring.

He was a life-long BMW motorcycle loyalist, and loved nothing more than taking long rides on his “scooter.” If the bike wasn’t an option, Valdis enjoyed photography and had a wicked arm for table tennis. Taking trips to Gloucester, Rockport or Ogunquit for a look at the ocean and a bite of the perfect lobster roll were where he felt most at peace.

“Papa” or “The Bear” was the grandfather to four grandchildren who absolutely adored him: Livija Samaraweera, Harrison Tiplady, Davis Tiplady and Wilson Tiplady.

Valdis is survived by his wife, Brigita Smits; his daughters and their husbands, Maija and Nathaniel Tiplady, and Lisa and Piyum Samaraweera; and his sister and her husband Anita Smits and Scott Lichty.

Should friends desire, in memory of Valdis, please send donations to the Marginal Way Preservation Fund:

Memorial page

Marginal Way Preservation Fund

P.O. Box 1455

Ogunquit, Maine 03907