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John J. Balko Jr.

John J. Balko Jr., 63, of South Scranton, died Friday at Regional Hospital of Scranton after being stricken ill at home. His wife of 44 years is Mary Ann Ferguson Balko.

Born in Scranton, son of the late John J. Sr. and Sarah Ostromecki Balko, he was a 1968 graduate of Scranton Technical High School and retired after more than 30 years working for McKinney Corp. of Scranton. He was a member of St. Paul of the Cross Parish, where he taught CCD classes for more than 30 years at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church and worked with the church youth ministry, sang in the folk group, was a Eucharistic minister and a kitchen volunteer at church fundraisers. John was a Special Olympics coach, a volunteer at Arc, the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Scranton and was affiliated with Family Aid at St. Joseph's Center for Beth, Michael and Johnny.

John and his family had their home open at all times for any youth in need and had been a foster parent along with his wife, Mary Ann, for 19 children. John was a loving, endearing, kind husband and father, grandfather, brother, uncle, nephew and friend, who will be cherished in the prayers and hearts of all who knew him. His family draws their strength because of John's personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

He is also survived by a son, Kiley Oakley, Pittston; three daughters, Christina Balko, Scranton; Lynn Ann Labrosky and husband, Jeff, Scranton; and Jill Balko, at home; 10 grandchildren, John Jordan, Chelsea Ann, Marcel, Carly, Mikhail, Kiera, Nia, Marcus, Arianna and Kiley Jr.; a sister, Anne Harrington; and a brother, Thomas Balko, both of Scranton; an aunt, Helen Lalus, Scranton; nieces, nephews and cousins.

Friends may call Wednesday, 4 to 7:30 p.m., in the Edward J. Chomko Funeral Home, 254-268 Railroad Ave., West Scranton, with services at 7:30 by the Rev. Scott P. Sterowski, pastor of St. Paul of the Cross Parish, and remarks by the Rev. Carl Brigido. Interment will be private in Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Cemetery, Scranton.

Condolences: www.chom kofuneralhome.com.

Published in Scranton Times on May 6, 2013
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