A beloved mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, Antoinette "Tessie" Balulis died on April 22, 2023. She lived to a remarkable 101 years old and was a shining light in her family's lives until the very end. A proud daughter of Pennsylvania, Tessie was one of eight children of the late Alex and Eva Melusky and was born in Mahanoy City in 1922. Shortly after her birth, her family moved to Minersville, where she would live for the rest of her life. A devout Catholic, she was a longtime member and supporter of the now-closed St. Francis of Assisi Church. She worked for many years in the St. Francis School cafeteria and many of the children still kept in touch with her. She traveled widely in her 10 decades, spending fondly remembered summers in Maine, crossing the country by car several times, and visiting her ancestral homeland of Lithuania both before and after the Iron Curtain fell. She was a friend and supporter to countless people who were lucky to cross paths with her over the years: her door was always open, and she was always ready with a warm hug and an easy laugh. She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Alphonse Balulis (in 1999), and her two sons, Anthony Balulis (in 2015) and Raymond Balulis (in 2010). Her beloved sister and fellow centenarian Anna Weissmiller of Minersville died in 2022. She is survived by her daughters, Rosanne McAuley; Fran Mitchell and her husband, Nick Mitchell; Mary Hardvall and her husband, Jerry Hardvall; a brother Raymond Melusky, her four grandchildren, Ian Balulis, Victoria Newcom, Karin Mitchell, and Kerrie Mitchell; her great-grandson, Dylan Balulis; and many nieces and nephews who she maintained a relationship with throughout her life. A Mass of Christian Burial shall be celebrated 10:00 am Tuesday May 2, at St. Matthew the Evangelist Church of the Holy Family Parish, Minersville with Reverend Leo Maletz celebrant. All are respectfully invited to attend a visitation Monday evening, with calling hours from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Mahal-Ritzel Funeral Home Inc., Minersville, as well as from 7:00 to 9:30 am Tuesday morning. Interment St. Francis of Assisi Cemetery. Mahal-Ritzel Funeral Home Inc., Minersville entrusted with the arrangements.
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