Saulius J. Vydas ’60 died on October 9, 2018, in Columbus, Mississippi.
(The following was published in The Commercial Dispatch on October 14, 2018):
Saulius (Saul) Joseph Vydas was born on January 21, 1938 in Kaunas, Lithuania. During World War II Saul’s father, Juozas (a physician) and mother Emilija (a professor of dentistry) with Saul escaped to safety. The Vydas family experienced time in a displaced persons camp in Germany before making their way to the United States. Saul became a permanent citizen in 1955. After graduating from Bowdoin in 1960, Saul served proudly in the United States Army, receiving his honorable discharge in 1968 as the rank of second lieutenant of artillery. Saul believed that it was the responsibility of a gentleman to serve his country. Saul received his premedical education from the University of Michigan, graduating in 1961. Saul then attended Hahnemann Medical College (Philadelphia, PA) and then received his doctoral of medicine from University of Illinois (Chicago, IL) in 1968; completing his residency at Presbyterian-St. Luke’s (Rush Medical School) in 1972. Throughout his forty-six years as a practicing psychiatrist, Dr. Vydas cared for people. Not just his patients, but people. He genuinely cared about the hearts and minds of everyone he met. He lent his ear and his knowledge to help a friend with advice or opinion – always available to anyone who needed him. Dr. Vydas spent seventeen years as a clinical psychiatrist for Baptist Memorial Hospital in Columbus, MS. His Baptist Memorial family respected him while his patients loved and appreciated him. Dr. Vydas, a longtime dog lover, became a loving “cat-father,” and was known for stopping in at the Humane Society to sit and hold the cats. If he happened to notice that a cat was not being chosen, he would pay half of the adoption fee to entice a potential new cat-mom or cat-dad to consider the feline. In some cases, it worked and the cat found a new home. In other cases, the cat would find a new home at Dr. Vydas’s house and there would be a new furry-face slinking around the pride. He never met a cat he didn’t love. Dr. Vydas was always seeking information and answers to questions. Hundreds of books in dozens of bookcases line his home. Opening drawers in a bureau, discovering books rather than blankets or sweaters. Books upon books, about philosophy, history, science, travel. His thirst for knowledge was unquenched. He was driven by curiosity. He was a true seeker. Saul was preceded in death by parents, Juozas and Emilija Vydas; and son, Andrew Barnes. Dr. Vydas is survived by his wife, Melody Heche Vydas; daughter, Amanda Barnes Tolson (Aaron); son, Adam Barnes; and granddaughter, Nayeli Barnes; brother, Algis Vydas (Lina); nephews, Hector Vydas (Vimarie); and daughters, (Sophie and Milena), Saulius Vydas (Bryanne); and son, (Magnus), Christopher Vydas (Melissa); and daughter, (Emma); and his beloved cats, Elf, Francis, Olive, and Rufus.