Obituary of Joseph Balango
Joseph George Balango
August 28, 1922 - September 30, 2019
A longtime resident of Chatham, Joe passed away peacefully at Riverview Gardens on Monday, September 30, 2019 with Joe & Kathy by his side.
Joe just finished celebrating his 97th Birthday with family this past August.
Predeceased by his beloved wife and partner of 73 years Gizi (Dec 4, 2018).
Joe was born on August 28, 1922 in Bajina Yugoslavia (Serbia) to George and Rosa (nee Kis) Balango . He was the second oldest and last surviving of 7 children and predeceased by Mike, Anne , Mary , Kathy , John and Alex.
Loving and special Dad to his late baby girl Veronica, Joe (Darlene) of Vancouver, George of London, Ontario, and Kathy (Henry) Mommo of Toronto.
Much loved Grandpa to the late Christopher Balango (2015) and survived by Christopher’s mother, Pat.
Survived by much loved grandchildren, Scott Balango (Iveta), Renee Quanstrom (Paul), Jon Balango (Lauren), Jana Cooper (Brendan), and Natalie and Dana Mommo .
Very proud Great Grandpa of Alex, Jake, Anna, Kate, Ella, Blaire and Marcus.
Predeceased by his dear sister-in-law, Melanie Orosz, brother-in-law, Joe Orosz and brother-in-law, Joseph Lang. Survived by dear Sister-in-law Rose Lang of Tilbury. Also survived by many nieces and nephews in Tilbury, Chatham, USA, Toronto, Hungary and Serbia.
As an adventurous, naive 21 year old, he joined the Yugoslavian Militia during WWII. The atrocities he witnessed here helped shape Dad's character. Nearing the end of the war his unit was liberated by allied forces in Germany . Not wanting to return home his adventurous spirit took him to various farms looking for employment and shelter in Germany. It was at one of these farms that he met Gizi and they embarked on a 73 year journey that saw them share many highs and lows. Despite unthinkable hardships they persevered and forged their way with baby Joe in arms to Kansas City USA. Here they welcomed son George. From Kansas they were granted landed immigrant status, that allowed them to come to Canada. They settled in the Chatham area to be close to Gizi’s family. Dad found employment at the International Harvester truck plant. Joe & Gizi were able to settle and build a comfortable home for what was now a family of 5. Kathy was a surprise addition at this time. Dad was a member of The Knight’s of Columbus where he spent many a Friday night helping with the bingo games. Dad loved God and his Catholic Religion and was a member of St Agnes Parish in Chatham. Above all Dad loved, and was very proud of his family. His door was always open to visitors. Dad loved working in his yard and garden which he maintained into his 95th year. He loved to play euchre and loved to bowl. He loved to watch wrestling. It was hard to convince him that the moves were staged and it was all for show. He vehemently denied this! Dad cared for Mom as her dementia progressed and we decided to place her in Riverview Gardens when he could no longer manage Mom's care at home. He joined 5 months later and they settled nicely into their new care free home. Mom passed 9 months ago and he missed her more than words can say. They are together now and we are most grateful. Dad was a man of integrity. He was kind, firm and fair. Truly a caring decent man who will be missed by many.
A heartfelt thanks to the staff on 4West at Riverview Gardens. The respect, care and dignity you have shown towards our Dad and Mom is of great comfort to our family. You were our parents family when distance kept us from them. For that we are eternally grateful.
Thank you Stacy Bowls for the love you have shown our parents over the years.
Finally, Rest in peace Dad. You deserve it. May God be with you ….until we meet again.
As you always said…” Do the best you can”
Love You Forever.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church, 52 Croydon Street, Chatham, on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 11:00 am. Cremation to follow.
In memory of Joseph, donations may be made to the Riverview Gardens - Activity Fund or the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mckinlayfuneralhome.com.
McKinlay Funeral Home
459 St. Clair Street
519 351 2040