Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Woke early to the news that my uncle Jim died this morning.  It hasn't sunk in.  He was truly a renaissance man.  I cannot imagine this life without him.  

Balint, Robert J.
On May 6, 1930, Robert James Balint became the third of the nine children born of the marriage between John J. Balint and Margaret Lucas Balint. He graduated from Most Holy Trinity School and Sacred Heart High School in Yonkers before enrolling at The Catholic University of America where he earned a degree in Architectural Engineering in 1951. After graduation, he was employed by the Bureau of Ships of the Navy Department. He was on the team which designed the aircraft carrier Forrestal. Thereafter he became a commissioned officer in the USAF and was given the assignment of overseeing the construction of the hospital at Dyas AFB in Abilene, TX. While there his vocation to the priesthood resurrected itself. He was ordained a priest at St. Patrick's Cathedral in May of 1961 and celebrated his first mass as a priest at Most Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers. He became an "adopted son" of the Dallas-Fort Worth Diocese where he performed teaching and parish duties for the first five years of his priesthood. He spent the next twenty-three years as a chaplain in the USAF at various bases in Europe, Asia and the USA. He retired as a full colonel in 1990. He continued his priestly duties as the founding pastor of Prince of Peace Catholic Community in Plano, TX. He retired in 2010 and was the "Pastor Emeritus in Residence" until his death on March 22, 2016. He died as a result of the serious injuries he suffered in an auto accident in Boynton Beach, FL on March 11, 2016.
He was predeceased by his parents, a brother, John, and a sister, Kathleen Kane. His sisters, Margaret Murray, Bernice Flynn and Judith Fasano of Cape Cod and MaryLou Blute of Plano, and brothers, Vincent of Fairfield, CA and Andrew of Yonkers, survive, as do countless nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, two great grandnieces and one great grandnephew.
His funeral mass will be held on March 29th, at his beloved Prince of Peace.

I drove to Berkeley, and had the most delicious grilled cheese and tomato soup at the Saturn Cafe.  Took a walk at the marina to let the news about Jim sink in.  It is Holy Week.  Uncle Jim said my dad's funeral mass, and he said that my dad joined the spiritual banquet in heaven.  It comforts me to know that now Jim is enjoying that same spiritual banquet, along with my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.  As you can see from the photos, Jim was literally and spiritually the center of our family.  

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