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Diana Maria Balazs

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Balazs, Diana Maria
age 54, of Paradise Valley, a newspaper reporter, died July 9, 2011, after a hard fought battle with a rare cancer known as leiomyosarcoma. Diana was born on Feb. 24, 1957, to the late Matilde Brachtl Balazs and Balint "Bob' Balazs, in Cleveland, Ohio. Diana attended Lincoln Elementary School in Lakewood, Ohio, and graduated from St. Luke's Parochial School, also in Lakewood. She moved with her family to Arizona in the summer of 1971, settling in Scottsdale. Diana graduated from Coronado High School in Scottsdale in 1975. She served as a reporter and news editor of the campus paper, The Explorer. Bitten by the journalism bug, Diana continued her studies at Mesa Community College, where she received an associate of arts degree and served as a reporter, columnist and editor of the student newspaper, the MCC Legend. She received her bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Arizona State University where she contributed to the State Press. Diana joined the staff of the Scottsdale Daily Progress in 1977, serving as a copy girl, newsroom secretary and cub reporter while going to college. She joined the Phoenix Gazette in 1983 as a reporter. The Gazette folded in 1997 and Diana joined the staff of the Arizona Republic. Over her 27-year career with the Gazette/Republic, Diana covered cops, courts, business, schools, city government, health, and social services. She also served as an assistant bureau chief in the Scottsdale and Phoenix news bureaus. She had a love of flowers, especially roses, and wrote the gardening column for the Republic for many years. In 2000, she received the company's silver ingot award. Diana is survived by her father, Balint of Seminole, Fla., and his wife, Marietta; two sisters, Lydia Maria Balazs, of Paradise Valley, and Tatiana Maria McFadden and her husband, Kevin and his family, one brother, Mark Carl Brachtl and his wife, Lynn and her family; one niece, Abigail Noelle Brachtl, and three nephews, Connor Charles Brachtl, Kevin McFadden and Brian Christopher McFadden. A celebration of life and Mass will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6th, at the Franciscan Renewal Center, Franciscan Renewal Center, 5802 E. Lincoln Drive. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower Street, Phoenix, or Vista del Camino Center, 7700 E Roosevelt St., Scottsdale.

Published in The Arizona Republic on July 17, 2011
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