November 12, 2020
Dr. Bela Csaki, 83, of Glenham, S.D., died in his home Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. He was born Feb. 14, 1937, in Jászfényszaru, Hungary. Eldest son to his parents, Bela and Kornelia (Mayer) Csaki, the family was later joined by Bela’s younger brother, Jozsef. Bela managed to escape communist Hungary in the uprising of 1956 and made his way to Germany, first to Hamburg and then to Heidelberg, where he first studied medicine. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1963, finished his surgical residency and ultimately became a renowned cardiovascular surgeon. He eventually settled in Kansas City, Mo., where he performed the city’s first open-heart surgery. His surgical expertise helped advance the medical profession and preserved the lives of countless patients.
Bela retired from practice in 2004 and moved to Mankato, Kan .; however, his passion for surgery brought him out of retirement and to Mobridge, S.D., where he became the town’s general surgeon. He liked horses, particularly Thoroughbreds. He even found his way into the winner’s circle with a horse that he bred and raised. He was also an avid hunter, which is one of the reasons he relocated to both Mankato and later, Mobridge. He bred some of the finest German Shorthair pointers in the U.S., many of them dual champions.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; his brother, Jozsef; his six children, Julia Maria Csaki, Anna Maria Csaki Montaguti (Alessandro), Bela Stephen Csaki (Jennifer), Diana Kornelia Csaki, Francis Paul Csaki (Rachel), and Angela Csaki Huttner (Benedikt); 16 grandchildren, Giorgia Pagnotta; Sofia, Tommaso, Massimiliano, and Valentina Montaguti; Gabrielle and Caleb McMahon-Csaki; Christabelle and Sasha Vidrini; Molly McDiarmid (Joshua), Olivia, Ella and Luke Csaki; and Silvan, Annabelle, and Lilith Huttner; as well as numerous other beloved family members—dear nephews like Tibi, cousins, nieces, nephews, and stepchildren, among others. Visitation is from 5 to 7p.m., today (Thursday) Nov.12 at the Kesling Funeral Home in Mobridge. His funeral is at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Mobridge at 6 p.m., Friday. Direct inquiries regarding the funeral service to the Kesling Funeral Home at (605) 845-2200.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the American Heart Association (www.heart.org) or Pheasants Forever http://www.pheasantsforever.org.