John Stanley Balkovic
Age 90 of Erie Pennsylvania passed away suddenly at St. Mary's at Asbury Ridge on Thursday, October 11, 2018. He was born January 26, 1928, a son of John and Helen Balkovic. He attended Central High School and enlisted in the United States Navy at a very young age where he was given a job as a machinist on the USS Helena. John's tenacity, exceptional skills and attention to detail made him an excellent machinist. John served in the US Navy through WWII and the Korean War. Upon his return home he continued his career as a machinist working for American Sterilizer. John married the love of his life, Sally Anne Kidder, in 1954 at St. Michael's Church in Erie and grew their loving family with the addition of 6 beautiful children. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Helen Balkovic, sisters Irene Balkovic, and Barbara Laymon, and brothers James and Paul Balkovic. Besides his wife Sally, he is survived by his six children, Helene Strickland (Larry Holland), Karen (Aaron) Doehrel, John (Shelly) Balkovic, Patty (Chris) Bloomstine, Laurie (Paul) Bretz, and Mary Lisa Balkovic (Jim Burley), thirteen grandchildren, Chris Doeblin, Lauren Doeblin, Jacob (Marion) Doehrel, Alyssa (Aaron) Grill, Tayla Balkovic, Kaitlyn Balkovic, Max Bloomstine, Andrew Bretz (Morgan Brumit), Stephen Bretz, Patricia Bretz, Tess Ricciutti, John Vincent Balkovic-Ricciutti, Keely Balkovic-Ricciutti, two great grandchildren Austin Liberatore and Lincoln Grill and several step-grandchildren. John's personality was larger than he was. He was a man of many passions. First and foremost was his family. He would boast to anyone who would listen about his wonderful children and amazing grandchildren and great grandchildren. But he also loved fishing canoeing, gardening, woodworking, hunting, wine making, square dancing, bowling, reading, writing letters and generally just being outside to enjoy God's gift of nature. He would spend the entire day from sun-up to sun-down working outside in his yard on any one of his latest projects. John and Sally also enjoyed many friendships, holding memberships to the Polish Falcons, East Erie Turners, South Erie Turners, Siebenbuerger Club, American Legion 773 and the VFW Post 470. John and Sally loved to dance and would be the first to "cut the rug" at any social event. Papa John was a strong man with an iron will. Once he got an idea in his head no one was going to change his mind. But while he was cast iron on the outside he was sensitive and caring on the inside. His legacy to his family is one of love, kindness, and generosity. We are all so proud to have had the joy of calling him, husband, father or Papa. His passing leaves a hole in our hearts that won't ever be filled and anytime we see a beautiful garden of flowers or vegetables, or see a wooden yard ornament, we will remember him and smile knowing that he is very busy at home with his heavenly Father planting flowers and getting things ready for when we all see him once again. Friends may attend a Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Peace Church at 2401 West 38th Street Erie PA 16506 Tuesday at 10:30AM Full military honors will take place outside Church immediately following Mass. Private burial will be at Laurel Hill Cemetery at a later date. Memorials may be made to the SONS of Lake Erie. The Carl A. Slomski & Son Funeral Home Inc. 2101 Ash St. is handling arrangements. Please send condolences to www.slomskifuneralhome.com
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