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In loving memory of
Birute Sophia Kukaitis Preikstas-Petrulis
  • February 25, 1922
  • -
  • June 18, 2019

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Birute Sophia Kukaitis Preikstas Petrulis… charismatic, courageous, determined, and passionate.

Known for her indomitable spirit, Birute was born the eldest of three children in Jurbarkas, Lithuania, on February 25, 1922.  As a young woman, she met Vincas Preikstas. Immediately smitten, Birute broke off her prior wedding engagement to marry her true love.  Threatened by Soviet and Nazi aggression during WWII, the couple, accompanied by other family members, fled Lithuania with only one suitcase in hand.  Their flight across Europe eventually led them to Ellis Island in 1949, when Birute was just 27 and pregnant with her first child.

In pursuit of her childhood dream to become a physician, Birute completed medical school in Tubingen, Germany. After the sudden death of her husband in 1958, she managed to secure her medical license in obstetrics and gynecology, while living as an immigrant, single mother of two young boys.  Mother and sons eventually made their way to Asbury Park, New Jersey, where, undaunted, Birute converted their 2-car garage into an office for her own private practice and proceeded to deliver over 1,000 babies over the next 25 years.

Her later years brought second husband Jonas Petrulis into her life and her retirement to Daytona Beach, Florida, where she joined a vibrant Lithuanian community of friends.

Birute lived 97 rich years, passing peacefully on June 18, 2019 at her home in Daytona Beach . She will be remembered for her strength, warmth, tenacity, and generosity.

Loved ones who have preceded her in death include her son Tauras, husbands Vincas Preikstas and Jonas Petrulis, sister Eugenia Avizius, brother Sigitas Kukaitis, niece Rasa Seager, and great niece Kristen Avizius.

Loved ones who will miss her include her son Darius, grandson Vincent Preikstas, daughter-in-law Barb Preikstas, nephews Arunas Avizius and Algis Avizius, and niece-in-law Kathy Snyder Avizius.

Birute’s family wishes to express their gratitude for the loyal support of the caregivers from Halifax Health Hospice Care in Daytona Beach.

A memorial service for Birute will take place Friday, June 28th at 10:30 am at the Basilica of St. Paul, 317 Mullally St., Daytona Beach, Florida.  The family also invites you to join them for a gathering in Birute’s honor on Saturday, June 29th from 2-5 pm at her home in Daytona Beach. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Birute’s name to Sunlight Orphan Aid for Lithuania (sunlightorphanaid.org).


Basilica of St. Paul
317 Mullally St., Daytona Beach, Florida 32114
Get Driving Directions

Date & Time:
June 28, 2019 at 10:30 AM


June 29, 2019

Birute's home

Instead of flowers, the family would prefer if you would make a donation to
Sunlight Orphan Aid for Lithuania (sunlightorphanaid.org)

Tribute Wall

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  1. 29 Apr 2020
    Taylor Crockett says:
    Birute and I never met but she was a somewhat distant relative. She was my great grandmother's niece and my mom had very fond memories of her. Her spirit will live on through us, wonderful to see all the things she accomplished. Rest in power. <3

  2. 28 Jun 2019
    Patricia Paladino says:
    My husband and I were just kids ourselves when I first went to my dear Dr. Preikstas in 1969. I was only 18 and Dr. Preikstas was so very sweet to both myself and my husband; we’ve now been married 50 years! We still live in the same area in NJ and would often think of Dr. Preikstas whenever we passed her office. She always held a special place in our hearts and we will never forget her. God bless you my dear Doctor...

  3. 25 Jun 2019
    Dawn Kittinger says:
    Barb and Daruus,
    It was a real pleasure getting to know Birute and you both. She was truly a remarkable woman. I hope she can have as much escargot as she can eat in Heaven.
    Much love and prayers to you all.

  4. 24 Jun 2019
    Laura Beck says:
    What an honor to spend the last week with the Preikstas family... I was so happy to finally meet Birute in her last hours and to hold her hand. This family has such a proud heritage - something I've not been so in touch with in my own family. I am humbled and touched by the stories I've heard about Birute... I will undoubtedly think of her when I need to tap into my own strength and courage.

  5. 23 Jun 2019
    Sue says:
    Sending love and condolences to your wonderful family. Beautiful tribute for a life fully lived. May peace hold you now.

  6. 23 Jun 2019
    Patricia Manser says:
    It is no wonder you became such a strong and loving man. What an admirable and one of a kind Mother you had. May she live forever in your mind and heart!

  7. 23 Jun 2019
    Gabrielle Aurel says:
    Dear Darius,
    My deepest condolences during this difficult time. Stay strong my friend.

  8. 23 Jun 2019
    Doris Straut says:
    So sorry about the passing of Mrs. Petrulis. She was a lovely lady. I met her at Hair Waves where we both had appointments with Bonnie on Saturdays. I knew her for several years and shared many conversations and laughs! She will be missed.

  9. 23 Jun 2019
    Webb,Joan says:
    What a magnificent woman, May she go straight to heaven.Joan Webb

  10. 23 Jun 2019
    Charlene Temple says:
    Birute was a kind and gracious woman who was very honest and open minded. She allowed her son to take her on a ride on a merry go round, and they were both smiling and laughing. It was a joy to see her so happy and relaxed. She was open hearted to those she loved, with a deep sense of loyalty. I will miss her greatly. She has my admiration and love always.
    Charlene Temple, Ithaca, New York.

  11. 23 Jun 2019
    Barbara Lehrman says:

  12. 23 Jun 2019
    Helene Sacknowitz says:
    Condolences to the family of Dr. Preikstas. She delivered my three children which included the doctors first set of twins. She was a kind and wonderful woman.

  13. 23 Jun 2019
    Lisa Griffin says:
    My mom loved Dr. Preikstas - I was one of the over 1,000 babies she delivered. I am almost 54 now. I remember my mom (she passed 5 years ago) telling me how she was a scared 23 year old new mom, and how Dr. Preikstas had such a sweet, nurturing and calming bedside manner. She was always willing to answer questions and offer advice. Thank you for bringing me safely into the world, Dr. P. God blessed you with a wonderful life and you left behind a legacy in your work.

  14. 22 Jun 2019
    Sigita Ramanauskas says:
    Definitely an outstanding woman! She was a life-long learner; reading books and keen to discuss current events until the very end. Birute also led the Daytona Beach Chapter of the Lithuanian-American Community for a time. My admiration and sympathy to her family!

  15. 22 Jun 2019
    Courtney M Williams lit a candle:
    Lit since June 22, 2019 at 6:46:50 PM

  16. 22 Jun 2019
    Lanette E says:
    To the Family
    You have my deepest sympathy for your loss. May God provide you with comfort during this grievous time. Be assured that one day soon God will do away with death forever. 1 Corinthians 15:26.

  17. 21 Jun 2019
    Charlene Temple says:
    Birute was open-hearted, honest, and affectionate. She let her son take her on a merry go round with much laughter and enjoyment. Plucky, and loyal to family traditions with reverence. She will be greatly missed. With love, Charlene.

  18. 21 Jun 2019
    Marcy Stewart Little says:
    Big hugs Darius.
    With love,

  19. 21 Jun 2019
    Marcy Stewart Little lit a candle:
    Lit since June 21, 2019 at 6:04:29 PM

  20. 21 Jun 2019
    Shaul lit a candle:
    Lit since June 21, 2019 at 6:15:41 PM

  21. 21 Jun 2019
    Shaul says:
    Dear Darius,
    My heartfelt condolences on the passing of your mother.
    May you know no more sorrow.

  22. 21 Jun 2019
    George Athans lit a candle:
    Lit since June 21, 2019 at 6:58:05 PM

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