James A. Neviackas
September 24, 2021
Dr. James Anthony Neviackas passed away peacefully on September 24th, 2021 at the Eastern Star Home of Macon, IL. A revered and respected member of the medical community, he is survived by his two sons, Justin Anthony Neviackas of Marstons Mills, MA, Dr. Jordan Jacob Neviackas of Denver, CO, his sister Nancy Martin and nephew Clay Evans of Nantucket, MA. He has three, treasured grandchildren: Dillon James, Morgan Ellen and Maryn Joan all of Marstons Mills, MA.
Dr. Neviackas was born in Boston, MA and grew up on Long Island, NY; the son of an attorney and Lithuanian immigrant Veto Neviackas and Gwendolyn. There he became an outstanding sailor who competed in Olympic Trials while in high school. He was also quarterback for his high school football team.
He attended Boston University as an undergraduate and overcoming dyslexia, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was named the 1969 scholar-athlete of the year. He was captain of the BU crew team and had the honor of rowing in the first ever Head of the Charles Regatta, one of the largest rowing races in the world. In Boston, he met his wife Joan Ellen Feinberg to whom he was married for 45 years. She pre-deceased him.
After undergraduate studies, he attended Yale University Medical School followed by an internship at Brown University. He spent two years performing public service as the physician of the Ogalala Sioux Indian Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. There he developed a love of the outdoors and hunting. He finished his residency and fellowship in nephrology at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO.
Upon completion of this phase of his medical training, he saw that the community of Decatur had no nephrologist and moved there in 1978 where he started his practice. He worked as a nephrologist and hospitalist, taking care of the residents of Decatur for over 30 years. He helped to build Decatur Memorial Hospital into one of the best hospitals in the nation. During this time, he also became the lead physician for the A.E. Staley Co, now Tate and Lyle. He had a reputation for being a superb diagnostician, the "go to" doctor. And everyone in Decatur knew him also as the "running doctor." He also completed the Executive MBA program through the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign graduating the same year as his oldest son. He eventually purchased a 22 acre horse farm near Rock Springs named "Bunker Hill Stables" after the famous Revolutionary War battle. For 30 years, Joan boarded horses and Jim helped maintain the property himself, learning tractor maintenance and honed his skills as a woodworker.
While maintaining his medical practice and raising two boys, Dr. Neviackas was also a national class age-group triathlete. He completed numerous triathlons and marathons, including the Ironman Triathlon World Championship five times in Kona, HI, winning the Master's division in 1989 and finishing second in 1990.
Dr. Neviackas battled a long-term rare neurological disease for the last 12 years named Multiple System Atrophy. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the MSA coalition at www.multiplesystematrophy.org.>
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