American Field

Dr.  Angelo G. Lurus Has Died

By Corrine Carlson | Jul 07, 2020
Dr. Angelo Lurus

Spokane, Wash. — One of the most influential individuals in the field trial sport died June 15, 2020 at age 89.

Angelo Gus Lurus, M.D. passed away at his home from thyroid cancer surrounded by his family.

Angelo was born in Idaho Falls, Ida., on April 12, 1931. He was raised by his parents, Gus and Vasilike Lurus, who resided on a ranch in Iona, Ida. His parents had immigrated from Greece as young teenagers.

His mother’s father, Saterios Rodanas, was a Greek Orthodox priest in Ioanina, Greece. He was to be elevated to Bishop of the church after his wife died and his children chose to immigrate to America.

Angelo’s father also came to America during his teen years with his brother and worked on the Great Northern Railroad for a trip out West as far as Judith Gap, Mont. Eventually, his father moved on to Idaho Falls and purchased land in Iona, Ida., where he built a farm for his growing family.

One of Angelo’s early memories was riding in a horse-drawn sleigh with other farm children in grade school and high school during the winter months without heat, just warm blankets. In the warmer weather he rode his horse to school and back; the school had stables in the back for the horses during school hours.

Angelo remembered when his father traded his plow horses for an Oliver tractor with a plow. That began his love for tractors.

Angelo graduated from Iona High School and went on to graduate from the University of Idaho with honors, receiving a degree in pre-med sciences in 1954. He was accepted to George Washington Medical School in Washington, D.C., and received his medical degree in 1957. He did his internship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Upon completion of his internship he received additional training at the Air Force School of Aviation Medicine and was assigned to Maelstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Mont., with an Aeronautical degree of Flight Surgeon. Later, he returned to Walter Reed Army Medical School to receive training in radiology. Upon completion of his residency there, he became board certified in radiation therapy, radiation oncology and nuclear medicine.

His next assignment was at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington D.C., where he practiced his specialty of radiology. In addition, he served as Chief Radiologist at the Pentagon where he served field grade officers, up to and including the Secretary of the Air Force. In addition he returned to flying duties as a flight surgeon and was assigned to the 1254th Presidential Squadron. In this capacity, he served on congressional flights overseas accompanying U.S. congressman and representatives. He also was a medical officer serving the president which included accompanying Air Force One in one of the fire fighting helicopters in the District of Columbia area. A very interesting duty.

He resigned from the Air Force in 1965 and elected to move to Spokane. Soon after, he joined a partnership with eleven other radiologists at Holy Family Hospital. They also served eight rural hospitals. During their partnership, he served as department chairman and president of Holy Family Hospital. He introduced the latest developments in radiology catheter procedures that had never been performed in the Spokane area. He also was involved in bringing  CT and MRI scanners to Holy Family. He retired in 1997 as a full time radiologist and over the course of 20 plus years did considerable medical/legal consultation.

Angelo was an avid hunter and fly fisherman.  He also loved tying his own flies.

In addition, he developed and trained pointer and setter bird dogs used in field trial competitions. During his field trial career had any number of winners.

His involvement in the field trial sport grew to the extent that he eventually purchased a small plantation in Alabama where he continued training his bird dogs and competing in field trials across the South.

When he was elected president of the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America in 1987, Dr. Lurus set about to move the AFTCA forward in several areas.

The first was computerization of the AFTCA office, and to aid in accomplishing this, he purchased the first computer for the AFTCA.

He then proposed the establishment of the 20th Century Fund to provide a firm  and long-term financial foundation for the future of field trials, amateur and open. The fund would annually distribute grants to AFTCA member club for grounds improvements that would benefit wildlife propagation and preservation.

He undertook the daunting task of updating and expanding the “Standards of Field Trial Procedure and Judicial Practice” booklet that is an invaluable source of information and guidance for participants in the field trial pastime.

Additionally, at their own expense, he and attorney, the late Jack McNamara of Santa Rosa, Cal., traveled to Washington D.C., to meet with representatives of the Internal Revenue Service to secure 501 (c)(3) status for the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America wherein contributions to the AFTCA’s 20th Century Fund would enjoy tax detectable status.

Dr. Lurus was a multifaceted man. Among his avocations was saddle-making. He crafted seven saddles and all were given away.

He greatly enjoyed his tractors. Last year, he renovated his old John Deere caterpillar with a friend and used it last winter to plow the snow off his road.

Angelo often said, “I was really a farmer who accidentally became a doctor.”

Angelo is survived by his Life Companion, Corinne Carlson, his four daughters, Suzanne Goodman (Marty), Annette Clark, Maria Wright (Dave), and Ann Marie Eisele (Bryan); ten grandchildren and one great grandchild, his sister Marina Covert and niece Christine Lurus (Rob) in Idaho Falls.

A celebration of Angelo’s life will be held at St. Aloysius Church on July 10. A graveside ceremony near his childhood home in Iona, Ida., will be held later in the summer with his family.

The family is very grateful to Hospice of Spokane for Angelo’s wonderful care.


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