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Josephine Marie Balshi

June 16, 1920 — June 12, 2019

Josephine Marie Balshi, truly loving wife, extraordinary mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother died on June 12, 2019, just four days shy of her 99 birthday, surrounded by her family.

Born June 16, 1920 to Anna & John J. Bartos of Bethlehem, PA, Josephine graduated from the Villa Sacred Heart Academy in Danville, PA (class of 38) and Bethlehem Business College (class of 40). For six years she managed the Bartos Insurance Agency. On June 9, 1945, she married “the love of her life,” Stephen F. Balshi, M.D. (deceased).

She is pre-deceased by her parents, her sister, Mary, her 2 brothers, Rt. Rev. Msgr. John V. Bartos of the Philadelphia Archdiocese and Joseph E. Bartos, M.D., three miscarried children and by her beloved husband of 66 wonderful years, Stephen F. Balshi, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Josephine Balshi is survived by her sister, Annamae Bartos Guff; her cousin, Rev. Francis Bartos and by her six children: Thomas J. Balshi, D.D.S., F. A. C. P. and wife Joanne Balshi (PA Stephen J. Balshi (PA); Mary Ann Balshi Okner and husband Thomas L. Okner, M.D., F.A.C.S. (FL); Kathleen A. Balshi Kucer, M.D. and husband Frank T. Kucer, M.D. (PA James D. Balshi, M.D. F.A.C.S., and wife Jill Balshi, RN (PA); and Philip J. Balshi and wife Pamela Scott, J.D., LLD. (NY).

A gifted volunteer leader, “Jo” graced numerous organizations and institutions throughout the Lehigh Valley with her dedication and enthusiasm for community service. Her organizational skills were second to none and her financial savvy proved the envy of many. She served as Treasurer of the Friends of Music of Bethlehem, as Treasurer of St. Annes Catholic Church Activities Group and as a Charter member and Treasurer of the Bethlehem Serra Club. She volunteered with “Meals On Wheels” for more than 15 years, bringing her smiles and compassionate, listening heart to the homebound. She and her husband, Dr. Steve, organized and led a number of trips abroad for members of St. Anne's Parish. She was a member of the American Cancer Society of Bethlehem, the St. Lukes Hospital Ladies Auxiliary and was a leader in countless annual fundraising campaigns for Catholic Charities. In the mid-'90's, Josephine and Dr. Steve established the St. Anne's School Balshi Scholarship Fund where their six children had been educated. She chaired the St. Annes Church Pipe Organ Capital Campaign and gave many volunteer hours to working in the St. Lukes Hospital Gift Shop. Upon joining the Assumption Church Parish in Center Valley, PA, she continued to lend her dedicated support and involvement to parish life, its liturgies, committees and capital campaigns.

A woman of enormous energy and optimism, she infused her family with a deep appreciation of education, medicine and the creative and performing arts, always encouraging them to "seek excellence in all things." From music and painting lessons to debate and theatrical competitions, from scouting achievements to athletic meets, from enrolling at boarding schools to graduating from universities, Josephine and her husband provided every imaginable opportunity for their children. Nothing was more precious to her than her family and friends and nothing more important than her life of faith in Jesus Christ. It was through this lifetime of daily prayer and attendance at Mass, that she taught her loved ones the essence of living a virtuous life, a life of familial love and forgiveness, and, a life of joyful service.

Above all, she loved her grandchildren and great-children with tremendous devotion; she was ever ready to celebrate their educational accomplishments and career milestones. She will be especially missed by those who loved her as “Grammy”: Anne-Kristin Balshi; Thomas C. Balshi, M.D. and wife, Brittany (Alexandra Rose, Brandon, Benjamin Stephen F. Balshi, II and wife Caitlin Balshi (Samantha, Peyton Anne & Nicholas); Timothy Balshi and wife Saraya Balshi (Ana & Chloe); Michael Balshi, Ph.D. and wife Carolyn Balshi, Pharm.D. (Mara & Andrew); Catherine Okner Schobert, J.D. and husband Christopher R. Schobert (Luke, Mark & Claire Marie); Michelle E. Okner; Paul T. Okner, J.D. and wife Alexandra T. Okner, M.A. (Whitfield & Brighton); Jeffrey Kucer, M.A. and wife Diana Coleman Kucer (Cole Nathaniel); Brian Kucer, M.D. and wife Kate Murray, M.D. (Linus, Jasper, Frances Andrew Kucer, J.D. and wife, Sheryl Kucer, CFP (Elliott Frank & Miles Bradley); Daniel Kucer, Christopher Balshi and wife, Laree Beans and Andrew C. Balshi and wife, Bronwen Balshi M.A..

A lover of the arts, a voracious reader, a sports fan par excellence, Josephine (at 55) became an avid golfer and member of the Saucon Valley Country Club Ladies Golf League as well as various Bowling Leagues in Bethlehem. Following Josephines move to Sacred Heart Senior Living Center and recently to Fellowship Community Manor, she continued to encourage friends to join her at a host of activities. Year after year, season after season, Jo took great pleasure in following her NFL “Eagles” and was a die-hard “Phillies Fan” - like none other.

Friends, acquaintances and her loving family will forever remember her smiling enthusiasm, her faith-filled optimism and her constant expressions of gratitude, capped by her generous, celebratory style.

Visitation will be held at the Connell Funeral Home, 245 E. Broad St. Bethlehem, PA 18018 on Monday, June 17, 2019 from 4 to 6 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 11 AM at the Assumption Church, 4101 Old Bethlehem Pike in Center Valley, PA. Interment will follow at Holy Savior Catholic Cemetery in Bethlehem, PA.

In lieu of flowers, Memorials are preferred to: Assumption Church, in Center Valley, PA, DeSales University in Center Valley, PA, the St. Anne's School Balshi Scholarship Fund in Bethlehem, PA and the Sisters of St. Cyril at Villa Sacred Heart in Danville, PA.

Holy Saviour Cemetery
2575 Linden St.
Bethlehem PA 18017

Monday, June 17, 2019
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Connell Funeral Home, Inc.
245 East Broad St.
Bethlehem PA 18018

Mass of Christian Burial
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
11:00 AM
Assumption B.V.M.
4101 Old Bethlehem Pike
Bethlehem PA 18015

Funeral HomeConnell Funeral Home, Inc.
245 East Broad St.
Bethlehem PA - 18018

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