Margaret Serelis-Balint, 78, passed away at 10:05pm Saturday, November 28, 2020 at Glenbrook Hospital in Glenview, Illinois.
Margaret was born on April 2, 1942 in Kaunas, Lithuania to Kazya and Elena (Duble) Sileikis. She was employed by Michael Reese Hospital for 30 years as the head secretary for the research department. On July 17, 1980 she married Vitas Serelis. He died on December 25, 1993. Margaret then married Robert Balint on January 15, 2011.
Margaret’s life story began with her first young years at a displaced persons camp in Hanau, Germany after WW2. She spoke of remembering German planes strafing the refugees who were leaving Lithuania and heading to Germany before the Russians arrived. She and her family were granted sponsorship by the Vatican to immigrate to the US in 1946. On their arrival, they were sent to live with a farm family in upstate New York for 6 months. After this, they moved to Chicago so they could be a part of the large Lithuanian community. She graduated from the all-girls Maria HS in 1960 where she was active in field sports and furthered her education at Loyola University in Interior Design. She designed and made all of her own business clothes for work as a secretary.
She was married to Vitas Serelis from 1980 until his death in 1993. In January of 2011 she married her love, Robert J. Balint, who survives, feeling her tremendous loss. Her young start spent on a farm in the US helped foster her love for animals and first drew her attention to Robert, where he lived on his own 20 acre farm that included over 50 animals in Walkerton, IN. Her last years were made happy by her twin miniature Dachshunds, Belle and Penny, whom she loved dearly.
Margaret loved the family she was welcomed into and especially enjoyed the grandchildren whom she spoke of with love and affection to everyone she met. Margaret so enjoyed taking the granddaughters out on their yearly shopping trips. Spending time at the beach, movie theater, on vacation, on the farm, crafting, and cooking with the grandkids, when they visited, brought her great joy.
Margaret had many passions. Travel and reading were at the top of her list. She had a voracious appetite for the written word and to see the world. Her hunger for knowledge would find her reading 2-3 books a week. Traveling with her husband filled the gaps that books could not fulfill.
Margaret always spoke of being born in the “wrong country and the wrong century.” She held a great zest for the 16th and 17th century history of England. She relished in studying the past history and culture, while imagining herself living in that time and place. Her knowledge of English royalty was impressive.
In addition to her many interests, Margaret had a passion for the photography of flowers and the Lake Michigan shoreline. Margaret had a great appreciation for art and the beauty of flowers. She especially enjoyed fresh cut bouquets, embracing their fragrance, and sharing her vast floral knowledge.
She had a very loving and giving heart which she especially enjoyed sharing during family celebrations and the holidays. Flowers, food and wine were always on the menu wherever she went. She always came with a thoughtful gift in her hands. She was an exquisite cook of all ethnicities, drawing recipes from her abundant cookbook collection.
Music fed her soul and brought her great peace and happiness. Her love for opera and classical music by Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven brought her even greater delight when she was able to share this with her husband, as they attended innumerable concerts and operas together.
Margaret’s great contribution of her beautiful soul to our family and friends will be loved and missed.
Surviving are her husband Robert Balint, step-daughters Beth Ann (Dr. Joseph) Olinger and Ann Marie (Sean) Davidson-Dolgos, step-son Dr. Christopher (Susan) Balint and 10 step-grandchildren Hannah, Sydney, Maximilian, Emma, Owen, Evan, Ella, Sophia, Lucy, and Stella.
Cremation has taken place. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30am Monday, December 21, 2020 in Christ the King Church, 52473 State Road 933, South Bend, IN 46637. A gathering of friends and family will take place from 10:00am until services. Burial of her cremated remains will follow in St. Casimir Catholic Cemetery, Chicago. Zahoran Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to Christ the King Church. To leave an online condolence, visit our website http://www.zahoran.com or our facebook page Zahoran Funeral Home.
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Christ the King Church Memorial Fund
52473 State Rd. 933, South Bend IN 46637