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Michael  Balahura

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Michael Balahura

September 8, 1929 - July 3, 2021


Michael Gustin Balahura (Gus) passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on July 3, 2021.

Gus was born on September 8, 1929 and grew up in a mining family in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and followed his sister Mary (Ferraro) out to Nelson in the spring of 1946. He immediately went to work at the age of 16 for the Canadian Pacific Railway as a fireman, shoveling coal into the firebox of the steam engine. He later became a locomotive engineer and worked for C.P.R. out of Nelson until his retirement 42 years later in 1988. He loved being a railroad engineer.

He met and married Elaine (Schneider) in 1950 and they enjoyed 68 years of marriage. As a couple they made a great life together in Nelson. They square danced, had season tickets to the Leafs games and were active members of the United Church. They made great friends in Nelson. For their 25th wedding anniversary family and friends got them tickets to Hawaii. Gus was hesitant but fell in love with Hawaii and the couple traveled to and vacationed with friends in Hawaii 27 more times over the years. Elaine passed away in 2018. He greatly missed Elaine as they were rarely apart. They were good community members together.

Gus loved to play men’s softball. He was a first basemen and was renowned for the home runs he hit – He didn’t like to run so he would say, “If you hit a home run you can walk around the bases”.  He was also an avid fisherman and spent many hours trolling on Kootenay Lake with good friends Shorty Malacko and Bill Chapman. He was always up for a good game of cribbage and especially enjoyed the times when Elaine’s family would get together and the crib tournament ‘was on’.  He also coached minor hockey and baseball in Nelson and later in life started playing golf.

He was well loved and will be missed by son Michael (Brenda) Balahura of Castlegar and daughter Donna Roberts (Richard) of Princeton as well as grandchildren, Marissa Balahura (Jeremy), Brent Roberts (Marcie), Justin Balahura (Lindsay), and Danielle Krause (Darcy), and great grandchildren, Audrey, Austin, Autumn, Elaine, Malcolm and Cadence.

He was predeceased by wife Elaine, sister Mary and brother-in-law Mel Ferraro of Nelson, and brother-in-laws Frank Schneider, his wife Dorothy and Bill Schneider.

He is survived by sisters Florence and Ann of Toronto.

The family extends their gratitude to the wonderful health care professionals who supported both Gus and Elaine over the years and want to pay special tribute to their GP, Dr. Kevin McKechnie and specialist, Dr. Philip Malpass.

Gus was known for his sense of humour, his love of a good laugh and his willingness to help.

He was a good employee, a good community member, a good friend, a good husband, a good father, and a good grandpa. He really was an all-round ‘good guy’.

In lieu of flowers, friends who so wish may make memorial donations to the Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation. www.klhf.org


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Thompson Funeral Services Ltd.

Thompson Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Joe Ringrose
Relation: old time acquaintance/

So sorry to hear of Gus’s passing. He was a real gentleman. Always happy to see you.

From: Denise Schneider
Relation: Elaine (Gus's wife was my father's first cousin)

My deepest condolences to Mike, Donna and families.
Warms my heart knowing Gus & Elaine are together again!
They were the best humans to have as relatives, we were also so cherished to have them in our lives.
Rest in Peace Gus, I’ll be watching those Jays with you xo
Love Denise

From: Linda Zeznik
Relation: known Gus my entire life

Dear Michael , Donna and family
My heart hurts for your loss of Gus. Also your precious Mom. It seems so natural that they are now together again ,as this is how I always remember them. As we know, our parents were friends since school , both of them in my parents wedding party, and even going on my parents honeymoon together.
I loved them both so much and miss Mom telling me of a visit they had enjoyed when the saw each other . The memories of Gus and Elaine are rich and endless. From Gus taking us to see Santa when Dad was working out of town, to seeing them Sundays at church , I will always have them in my heart. They were so good to me when I would be going through hard times .I feel like the chain is now broken , with both Gus and Elaine and Dad now gone. I think of them especially now when I hear
the beautiful Israel “IZ” version of Over the Rainbow or Hallelujah.
Thinking of you with love, Linda

From: Greg Corbett
Relation: Scool mates father.

Dear Michael , Donna and family,
So sorry for your loss, always enjoy talking with, Gus.

From: Denise Schneider
Relation: Family and blessed to be part of his xo

Happy Birthday Gus 🥳 🎂

I had the privilege of celebrating your birthday with Danielle (she is an amazing woman, how blessed you and Elaine are to have her as a granddaughter xo)

In honour of you, we watched The Jays, had lil rum a few buds. He double hockey sticks, Danielle and I vibe down a win against those Yankees.

That’s 7 in a row….3rd in the east.

Almost there…

We miss you!

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

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