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Lily Balko



It is with great sadness and love that we announce the passing of Lily Mary Balko of Edmonton, AB on August 6, 2018 at the age of 85 years. She passed peacefully and was surrounded by her family. Lily’s memory will be cherished by her son, Rick (Cathy); daughter, Jody (Harry); brothers, Dan Ropchan (Huguette) and John Ropchan; sister, Helen Hudema; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. Lily was predeceased by her husband, Josephat; parents, John and Annie; sisters, Helen, Phyllis and Victoria; brothers, Steve, Mike and George.

Lily was born on a farm outside of Berwyn, AB and at an early age, decided that farming life was not for her. She left the farm at age 18 and moved to Manning, AB with the help of her sister, Helen. Lily worked in the Post Office and soon thereafter, decided to venture further with a friend to Winnipeg, MB. Back in those days, women weren’t hired in the Post Office in Winnipeg, so she found work at the Canadian Bank of Commerce. The bank was looking for competent workers who could train staff on the latest technology and Lily took up the challenge and moved to Courtenay on Vancouver Island. She enjoyed her years on the Island but returned to Berwyn, AB to care for her ill mother. After a few months on the farm, she moved out with her sister, Victoria, to Fairview, AB where she continued her banking career. In January 1962, she met the love of her life, Josephat Balko. By Valentine’s Day they were engaged and in June 1962 they were happily married. Lily and Josephat moved to Edmonton the following year. In 1964, Lily and Josephat chose their son, Rick to join their loving family and in 1966, daughter, Jody arrived. In 1971, cancer took the life of Josephat. Lily’s fierce sense of independence and strong work ethic enabled her to carry on raising and supporting her children on her own working various jobs. After Rick and Jody left home, Lily enjoyed many years of travel and loved to keep active working in the garden. Lily also worked as a caregiver and was known to drop everything to help out a friend or relative. Lily will be remembered as a very strong, courageous woman, and loyal friend to all.

The family extends a special thank you to many who helped Lily through a challenging time with cancer: Dr. Butts, Dr. Yee and Dr. Terumi and their teams at the Cross Cancer Institute, the AHS Palliative Homecare Team for South Edmonton, the pharmacy team at Safeway Heritage, the Homecare team at Shepherd’s Gardens – Heritage, and the Shepherd’s Care at Home team.

A Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, August 14 at 11:00 am at Resurrection Catholic Church, 10555 – 50A Street NW, Edmonton with a reception to follow. Rev. Mitch Fidyka officiating with inurnment at St. Anthony Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Cross Cancer Institute or to the charity of one’s choice.

In Loving Memory of
Lily Balko
(Maiden: Ropchan)
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Funeral Service:
Funeral Mass
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
11:00 AM
10555 - 50A Street
Edmonton, AB
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St. Anthony Cemetery
106 Street & 53 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
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