Delores Balazs was a beautiful, intelligent, and amazingly determined woman who time and time again showed the world there was nothing she could not accomplish when she set her mind to it. Affectionately known as Del by most who knew her, she was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, and grandmother. She enjoyed loyal and cherished friendships that in some cases tragically ended too soon while others lasted her lifetime.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Del lived most of her life in northeastern Ohio apart from a five year stretch in sunny and sandy Florida. She loved the sun. She loved growing and tending to plants and flowers in her garden, both in Florida and later in Ohio. She loved to dance! She loved scary movies, haunted houses and Halloween. She loved going to the Home & Garden show and the Prairie Peddler Festival to look at all the beautiful floral displays and unique hand-made crafts. She loved decorating her house with unique displays for the holidays. But most of all she loved spending time with her children and grandchildren.
First born to parents Joseph and Marion Haburt, Del was a loving big sister to her siblings Kathy McGinnis, Karen Tapp, and Peter Haburt, all of which she kept close with her whole life. With Chuck Balazs Sr., her soul mate and husband of 19 years, she had three beautiful and talented children whom she often said were her greatest accomplishments and joy of her life. Her oldest daughter Deanna is a Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine residing in Columbus, OH with her two daughters Laura and Gwendolyn. Dawn, her youngest daughter, is a 911 Emergency Medical Dispatcher residing in Hinckley, OH with her husband Tim and their three children Nicole, Cameron, and Tristan. Chuck, her son and youngest child, is a Director of IT residing in Cuyahoga Falls, OH with his wife Heather.
As a couple, Chuck and Del knew how to have fun! Del had a style reminiscent of Hollywood glamour and she and Chuck made lasting memories together which are still talked about amongst those that knew them best during their time together. It is a treat to hear others tell stories of the old days with Chuck and Del.
Del spent a great part of her life learning how to improve herself and overcome learned behaviors and emotional suffering that she did not want to pass along to her children. At the time of her death, she had been sober for 35 years – an accomplishment she was very proud of. Later in life she had also quit smoking, and later still was able to overcome her addiction to sugar. She was a woman who in the end would succeed in conquering every vice she had in a demonstration of sheer will and perseverance.
Whether it was making and decorating cakes and candy at home or working in the mailroom at the Plain Dealer, Del did what she needed to do in order to support and care for her family. She was intuitive and resourceful in her efforts to provide financial support for her children as a single mom. In her lifetime, Del was a cosmetologist, a cake baker and decorator, a candy maker, a saleswoman, a member of the Teamsters, a newspaper deliverer, and eventually retired from her job as a mailroom worker at the Plain Dealer – a stressful and physically demanding job that allowed her to help put her kids through college and so much more. She certainly set an example of what work ethic looks like for her children.
In the early years, when she wasn’t working in salons you might find her cutting and styling the hair of her family members and friends. Her house was known to neighborhood kids as a treasure trove of cake and candy as she made cakes for all occasions and candy for the holiday seasons. Later on, Del hand-made crafts she would sell at holiday craft shows and then expanded to holiday-themed shirts and sweatshirts she decorated by hand. Never one to back down to a challenge, Del also took a DIY approach to remodeling her home's bathroom and kitchen. She would eventually, and quite successfully, supplement her income with an Etsy shop where she sold uniquely hand-decorated charms and jewelry to customers all over the world.
In her final days, Del was cared for by the Angels of Hospice at Seasons of Life Hospice in Cleveland, OH. The incredible staff at Seasons of Life Hospice often commented on Del’s strength and resilience during her stay there. She passed away late on June 4th with her children by her side, with her hands in theirs, and with words of everlasting love and appreciation for the amazing woman that she was.
We love you Mom. Enjoy the next chapter, and dance!