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Marian Grace Balint (Mayes)

July 1, 1935 - April 18, 2022

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Marian Grace Balint (Mayes) was born July 1, 1935 in Birtle Manitoba and died on April 18, 2022 at Abbotsford Hospital in Abbotsford British Columbia. Her parents were Ralph Ernest Mayes and Jean Muriel Mayes (Lyle). Marian is predeceased by brothers Eric Carlyle and Hubert Graham, her sister Ardyce Marguerite Mayes (Koroluk) and her husband Martin David Balint. Marian will be lovingly remembered by her son Garth Martin Balint and daughter-in-law Linda Ann Szentes as well as many nephews, nieces and friends.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM PST Saturday June 25, 2022 at the Oakhurst Park clubhouse at 32959 George Ferguson Way in Abbotsford. Please RSVP to gbalint131@gmail.com if you plan to attend so that we can coordinate the room’s capacity limit and catering. A second service will be held later in the summer in Yorkton Saskatchewan when Marian’s ashes will be interred in the Yorkton cemetery beside her husband Martin; date and time to be confirmed.
Marian’s early years were spent in rural Manitoba living in small communities such as Lyleton, Stockton, Oakner where her father took positions as teacher. Scholastic excellence was encouraged and expected and all the Mayes children went on to be teachers or involved with education. It was during those early formative years that Marian’s lifelong love of books and music were firmly developed. Marian took piano lessons and achieved Grade 8 Royal Conservatory piano, as well as singing in school and church choirs. She was deeply grateful for the sacrifices that her parents made in those early years so that she and her siblings could have musical instruments and take music lessons.
Her father Ralph Mayes was a WWI veteran (stretcher bearer) and many of her cousins fought in WWII. Marian saw the devastating effect that the war had on her father and she had great respect for the significance of Remembrance Day.
Her father’s final position was as Principal at the school in Hazelridge Manitoba in the early 1950’s. Because grades 11 and 12 were not offered at the Hazelridge school, Marian and her mother lived in St. Vital in Winnipeg while Marian finished high school. After graduating from high school, Marian moved into residence at United College in downtown Winnipeg. United College was to become the University of Winnipeg in later years. Scholastic excellence was a family value and Marian, like her brothers and sisters, received awards and scholarships enabling her attendance at university. In those days Grade 12 counted as 1st year university, so she attended UC for 3 years after high school and graduated from UC in 1956 with an Honours BA. It was in residence at United College where Marian met lifelong friend Wilda Ward (Reynolds). While attending UC Marian became a member of St. Stephen’s Broadway United Church choir due to encouragement from her brother Hubert who was already in the choir. Marian proudly sang in this excellent choir for 3 years until graduating from UC.
After graduating from United College Marian spent the next few years in Carberry Manitoba as student teacher at Carberry Collegiate. After Carberry, Marian went on an adventure to England where she had a job as a teacher in the Friary school in Litchfield-Staffordshire. Her stay in England ended abruptly when she had to return to Canada in 1959 due to her father having a heart attack.
Needing work, Marian accepted a teaching position in Langenburg High School in Saskatchewan. While in Langenburg Marian met Martin Balint while boarding on a local farm owned by the Mitchke family. Marian and Martin were married on July 15, 1959 in St. Andrews United Church in Yorkton Saskatchewan and then they moved to Yorkton. Marian was welcomed into the Balint family by Martin’s sisters and brothers: Magaret Molnar (Balint) and husband George, Tillie (Matilda) Czinkota (Balint) and husband Edwin, Grace Schmuland (Balint) and husband Ken, Theresa Sliz (Balint) and husband John, John Balint and wife Mary, Frank Balint and wife Stella plus lots of nephews, nieces and cousins, many of whom lived in the Yorkton area. This large and fun-loving extended family was Marian’s introduction to large gatherings and amazing Hungarian and Ukrainian food. Martin grew up on a farm in Otthon, a small rural community about 10 miles west of Yorkton. In Otthon Marian met many of the Martin’s neighbours at the farm, including Marion and Lorraine Holowka who were to become lifelong friends.
Marian taught at Yorkton Collegiate for 1 year and then decided to stay at home to raise their son, Garth who was born in 1961. During this time they built a house on Victor Place which was a new street at the very edge of Yorkton. They had a big yard with trees and a vegetable garden and that is where Marian developed her passion for gardening and growing flowers. That yard was also home to Samantha, the first of a long series of Siamese cats that Marian loved. Marian resumed her teaching career in 1965, accepting a position at Sacred Heart Academy in Yorkton as the first non-Catholic teacher to work at the Academy. She flourished in this environment and stayed until 1969 when her father Ralph Mayes passed away. After Scared Heart, Marian held various teaching positions for adult night school and other learning institutions in Yorkton, helping adults achieve their grade 12 status. Marian’s years as a teacher were very gratifying to her and some of her student’s along the way such as Dorothy Lazurko (Bomok) and husband Reverend Father Yurij Lazurko became lifelong friends.
Her son Garth graduated from grade 12 in 1979 and went to University of Manitoba to study architecture. Martin and Marian decided to downsize so in 1981 they sold the house and big yard on Victor Place and moved to a smaller house on Redwood Drive in Yorkton. In true Balint fashion that yard soon featured trees, flowers and a vegetable garden, plus a Siamese cat. While living in the house on Redwood Drive, Marian became a board member on the Yorkton Library, a volunteer position that she held for more than 20 years. She was a strong supporter of the local library and was instrumental in initiating programs that promoted the library in the community including the mobile library truck (bookmobile) that delivered books to smaller communities in rural Saskatchewan where there were no libraries. The bookmobile program also provided an opportunity for Marian and Martin to visit some of the 1st Nations reservations in Saskatchewan; they developed good relationships with the 1st Nations communities at that time, making numerous road trips to visit the reservations and coordinate the mobile library truck. Martin and Marian also became members of the local rock and gem club in Yorkton and created many beautiful pieces of stone jewelry and artwork with the club and in their basement workshop.
During the time at Redwood Drive Marian learned her second musical instrument, the clarinet. There was an ad in the local paper inviting interested adults to join the adult concert band so Marian accepted the challenge and joined the band. Her study of the clarinet took her to band rehearsals, band concerts, lessons and also to attendance during the summers at International Music Camp (IMC) on the border between Manitoba and North Dakota. Marian attended IMC 9 years and formed many musical friendships there including her dear friend Mary from Calgary.
Marian’s mother Jean Mayes, passed away in the nursing home in Yorkton in 1992, and then her brother Carlyle passed away in 1997. In the autumn of 1997 Martin became ill and he passed away on June 22, 1998. These were challenging years of loss for Marian, with many dear brothers-in-law, sisters-in law, nephews & nieces and cousins also passing away, followed by her brother Hubert in 2001. With support from family and friends Marian stayed in the house on Redwood Drive in Yorkton for a few years, playing in the adult concert band, working with the rock and gem club and learning Tai Chi. She also developed a keen interest in professional baseball and followed her favourite team the Toronto Bluejays.
Marian wanted to be closer to her son Garth and his wife Linda so in December of 2002 she moved to Abbotsford, British Columbia. In addition to being close to Surrey, where Garth and Linda live, Abbotsford offered a good community concert band and a nice library. After a brief stop-over in an apartment, she moved into her townhouse in Oakhurst Park on Nelson Drive, later re-named George Ferguson Way. Marian enjoyed the nearby produce markets with bountiful fruits and vegetables grown in British Columbia, especially Chilliwack corn on the cob. She established herself with the neighbourhood pharmacy, dentist and optometrist all within walking distance. Also within walking distance was the trail through Horn Creek Park, which Marian hiked countless times. Marian loved going for walks.
British Columbia’s extended growing season is great for gardeners and Marian’s patios were always full of brilliantly coloured flowers, featuring her favourite red geraniums. She also planted trees and landscaped the area behind her back patio, which was a haven of calmness and green plants popular with the neighbours in the complex. She spent many pleasant hours sitting and reading in her patios surrounded by her trees and flowers. Marian developed friendship’s with her neighbors Anna and Albert, Mary, as well as the people who lived in the unit next to her and shared her entrance hallway over the years (Marge, Helen, and most recently Len and Kathy). She was always willing to lend a hand to neighbours if she could, and she very much appreciated the help and support that her neighbours gave to her.
The centerpiece of Marian’s life in Abbotsford was belonging to the Abbotsford Concert Band, which later became the Fraser Valley Community Winds. She was a proud member of the band the whole time that she lived in Abbotsford, and only stopped going when rehearsals were interrupted by COVID in 2020. Once again music was the catalyst for dear friendships with fellow clarinetists Sylvia and Suzanne.
One of Marian’s most treasured possessions was her piano, which she played almost every day. She never tired of working on Bach’s Prelude and Fugue #1. She also loved her radio, which was always tuned to classical music stations or CBC. Marian was an avid reader and loved good literature, particularly women authors and Indigenous authors. She was always writing shopping lists of the latest books and CD’s that were reviewed on CBC radio.
In 2015 Marian’s sister Ardyce passed away in Ottawa, which was another profound loss for Marian. As the years passed, some extra support was needed so Angels There For You entered her life in 2018, providing home care support. Caregivers Brenda, Laura and Maureen became new friends and companions and Marian always looked forward to sitting down with a cup of tea for a little visit, as well as good meals and even shopping excursions.
Marian wanted to be at home, and she was able to have that wish fulfilled through the care and support provided by her family, caregivers, neighbours, friends, pharmacist and her healthcare team at Fraser Heath. We are grateful to everyone who helped Marian in her journey.
In lieu of flowers we suggest a donation to the Fraser Valley Community Winds, The Kidney Foundation (British Columbia & Yukon) or the Fraser Valley Regional Library.

Condolences

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From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home

Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Len & Kathy
Relation: friend & neighbour

Garth and Linda…it was a joy being Marian’s neighbour at Oakhurst Park in Abbotsford. She was such a positive person, always up for a cup of tea and a visit…music and flowers were her delights. Condolences for your loss.

Service Schedule

  Celebration of Life

Date & Time:
June 25, 2022
Beginning at 2:00pm

Location:
Oakhurst Park Clubhouse
32959 George Ferguson Way
Abbotsford, BC Canada

Please RSVP to gbalint131@gmail.com if you plan to attend so that we can coordinate the room’s capacity limit and catering. A second service will be held later in the summer in Yorkton Saskatchewan when Marian’s ashes will be interred in the Yorkton cemetery beside her husband Martin; date and time to be confirmed.

32959 George Ferguson Way
Abbotsford, BC Canada

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