Andrew D. Balazi 98 of Margate, Florida, formerly of Bradenton, Florida and Cleveland, Ohio passed away Wednesday, August 8, 2012. Andrew was born June 25, 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio to Deszo and Valeria Balazi. He served in the US Army and worked as a Divisional Superintendent of Ion and Rocket Propulsion for NASA. Andrew is survived by his son Alan (Sandra) Balazi; grandchildren Melody (Joshua) Gallo, Daniel (Zeneida) Balazi, Ryan (Cheryl) Balazi, and Christopher (Christina) Balazi; great-grandchildren Taylor Gallo, Christian Balazi, and Andreas Balazi. Andrew is predeceased by his wife Lois Balazi (2000). A Memorial Gathering will be held Saturday, August 25, 2012 from 11am to 12pm with a Memorial Service to follow at 12noon at the Kraeer- Mason Funeral Home.
Andrew D Balazi was a modest man, quiet and observant in his ways. He was trustworthy and traditional in his approach to his life and in his relationships. He was tough-minded with the kind of "stick to it" attitude that earned the respect of all who knew him. He was also a man who was meticulous, carefully disciplined, and orderly in virtually everything he undertook. Realistic about life, he was always at the ready, prepared to take on responsibility.
His parents were Deso and Valaria Balazi. Andrew was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He was brought up to be self-confident and dependable. These were traits that would serve him well throughout his life.
Growing up in the Balazi household was a bit different than most homes. There were good times to be had, but just as often there was a fair share of challenges as well. However, Andrew was able to work through the usual family problems when they appeared, and he was the one person in the family who seemed able to keep the stress at bay. Andrew was raised with six siblings. He had three brothers, Louie, Alex, and Frank & three sisters Edith, Elizabeth, and Valarie. Andrew was constantly involved in activities with his brothers and sisters. Andrew and his siblings may have had the typical rivalries while growing up but Andrew was always consistently loyal to his family.
As a young child, Andrew was never someone who needed to be the center of attention. He wasn't pushy and never forced his way into games or other activities. Andrew developed a variety of interests, though, and the things he enjoyed doing he did well. He was always curious about the world around him and was often eager to explore it. In his spare time he liked airplanes. Andrew's memorable achievements included. However, what Andrew enjoyed most was simply playing and spending time with his many friends.
His training brought with it a new set of challenges, but Andrew handled them well. Being a critical thinker who always remained intellectually independent, Andrew was able to focus on the task at hand in order to complete his class work. He seemed to thrive on reading assignments, something that often bogged down his classmates. Andrew was able to read the material and retain the information in a way that impressed his fellow classmates. The ability to efficiently complete the task at hand was a skill that served Andrew well during his training experience. He earned his license as an Aircraft Mechanic & Inspector and became a Master Sheet Metal Mechanic. He also pursued a license as an Aircraft Flight Engineer.
On September 25, 1937 Andrew exchanged wedding vows with Yolan Lois Martin at the First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland, Ohio. Compassionate and devoted to Lois, Andrew held endearing, traditional values about marriage and family life. He took the responsibility of marriage to heart, giving it his total commitment. He was a source of strength to Lois and using his gifts at nurturing one-on-one relationships, he worked hard to make his new family happy.
Andrew brought the same traditional values in his marriage to bear on how he raised his children. He was a good parent to them, always firm yet fair in his dealings. He would always listen carefully and think things through before he acted, even when it was an adverse situation. Andrew was also a walking schedule, always seeming to know what everyone in the family needed to do, where they needed to be and when they needed to be there. Andrew was blessed with three children, one daughter, Peggy and two sons Robert and Alan. They were also blessed with four grandchildren, Melody, Daniel, Ryan, and Christopher.
Andrew greatly enjoyed what he did for a living. He was a hard worker who expected the same in return from his co-workers. He was skilled at working effectively in small groups and in one-on-one situations as well as handling solo assignments efficiently. Andrew enjoyed dealing with concrete ideas and could penetrate any amount of fuzzy information to reach the essential facts. Always able to attend to the task at hand, Andrew was excellent at meeting deadlines. He was an efficient worker, one who paid careful attention to detail, allowing sufficient time to complete one task before moving on to the next. His primary occupation was Divisional Superintendent of Ion and Rocket Propulsion. He was employed for 33 years by NACA/NASA. Andrew worked hard to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.
Andrew was an US Army Veteran. He was in the Field Artillery from 1934 to 1939. Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved the rank of First Lieutenant. A literal thinker who possessed a calm exterior, Andrew seemed to enjoy the routines set forth by the military. His results-oriented approach to things made him committed to the job, and he understood well his role in serving his country.
Andrew liked to experience things first-hand as well as learn about them. This trait carried over into his hobbies, where he was very methodical in how he organized his activities and categorized things. Since he enjoyed his private time, Andrew always tried to allocate a specific time for working on his hobbies. His favorite pursuits were gardening, reading, hanging out at his work bench, and fixing anything he could. Andrew was content to enjoy his hobbies alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.
Andrew found pleasure in sports. Being a person who was comfortable making win/lose decisions throughout life, he could appreciate that athletes made those types of decisions in sports. He applauded those who won, and he enjoyed the statistical data and sports facts and could find himself wrapped up in those details. He would watch his favorite sporting events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were football.
As a man who always showed great commitment to the things he believed in, it's little wonder that Andrew was so active in his community. Being practical and mentally disciplined, Andrew preferred to base his decisions on first-hand experiences. Andrew was never afraid to roll up his sleeves and dig right in. Andrew was a member of several community groups, including serving on committees for the Garfield Heights, Ohio Volunteer Fire Department.
Andrew sought out practical solutions, not individual recognition. He was always grounded and objective, feeling a strong sense of responsibility for taking care of what needed to be done. This selfless attitude earned Andrew many accolades for his efforts and achievements. Some of his most prestigious awards included the N. A. S. A. Apollo Space Program Award.
Andrew enjoyed traveling and taking vacations. Since he was an early starter and had a knack for planning everything, traveling with Andrew appeared effortless. He enjoyed researching all of his examined options and applying cost-effective planning techniques. Plus, no matter where he traveled, Andrew always had a back up plan at the ready, just in case. Favorite vacations included an Alaskan Cruise.
Andrew was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. A few of Andrew's favorites where a German Shepard, Shi Tzu, and Cocker Spaniel.
When Andrew's retirement finally arrived in 1973, he was well prepared. He always trusted and placed value in what was logical and in the things he knew, so he was very confident in planning his retirement. He had begun the process early and had his retirement all laid out well in advance. His new life involved relocating to Margate, Florida. Even in retirement, Andrew continued to stay in touch with his old friends while making plenty of new acquaintances. He was active and felt fulfilled.
Andrew D Balazi passed away on August 8, 2012 at Hospice by the Sea, Boca Raton, Florida. He is survived by his brother Alan Balazi and his wife Sandra, grandchildren Melody and her husband Joshua, Daniel and his wife Zeneida, Ryan and his wife Cheryl, and Christopher and his wife Christina. Three great-grandchildren Taylor, Christian, and Andreas. Services were held at the Kraeer-Mason Funeral Home. Andrew's ashes will be scattered at sea with his wife Lois.
Commitment is a key word that can be used to describe the life of Andrew D Balazi. He was committed to living the life of a good man who was both practical and trustworthy. He was committed to the traditional values that he upheld his entire life. He committed himself to being a hard worker who expected the same effort in return from those around him. Most of all, he was committed to those he knew and loved.