Donald A. Balas passed away on July 31, 2021, after a brave and courageous battle fighting cancer. He was born on March 29, 1953, in Edgewater, Florida. He spent his younger years in St. Petersburg, Florida, and graduated from Northeast High School. He went on to attend the University of Florida and was the very proudest Gator, enjoying some of his fondest memories playing on the football team. Don was married to the love of his life, Susan Balas, for more than 40 years. They lived in many different cities while Don was climbing the company ladder into management. They were delighted to put down their roots in beautiful Vero Beach, Florida, where they raised their daughter, Angela. He loved being active within the community and at St. Helen’s Catholic School, where he was always happy to lend a hand where it was needed.
Don spent his career working in chemical sales, most recently with Johnson Diversey. He was a top achiever in nearly every capacity in his work. He always met his goals! He made several lifelong friends while managing his accounts and participating in his professional associations. Don and Susan enjoyed years of traveling for his conferences, having the most amount of fun with the Master Brewer’s Association – something right up his alley! Don was the hardest worker, a true example of a person who gave his very best every day he woke up. He was a leader and a gentleman, and there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do to provide for his family.
There was no one more excited about Don’s recent retirement than Susan. Throughout the last few years, they saw some amazing places together. They were avid cruisers and enjoyed island sunsets all around the world. While they enjoyed traveling, their favorite place to be was right at home. You’d always find them in the pool, listening to good music and laughing. They had a beautiful life together.
His absolute pride and joy was his family. There was nothing he enjoyed more than being a Dad and a Pop-Pop. He didn’t miss a single thing, and there was never an instance where he didn’t have the time to sit down to help. He and Angela were best friends. She was forever known as his “Tarpon Turtle,” as they always had each other’s back. His grandsons, Austin, 10, and Alex, 5, brought immeasurable joy to his life. Not a day went by that he didn’t see them, hug them, and make them laugh. There aren’t enough words in the world to say how good he was at loving his family. He would end every phone call by saying “Love You – Mean It” and never let a chance go by to let them know how loved they were. You simply couldn’t do a better job than he did.
If you knew Don, you’d know his favorite place to be was on the golf course, and his favorite day of the week was Saturday, when he’d wake up before the roosters to meet his friends on the course. He was overjoyed that his son-in-law, Anthony Astrup, also had a passion for the game. Some of their favorite times together were spent over rounds of golf, and plenty of laughs at the “nineteenth hole.” Don loved to “tinker” in the garage and was always busy with a project. If you wanted something built or fixed, he was your guy. He loved his yard work Sundays, taking great pride that his lawn rarely had a brown spot.
A beautiful celebration of his life was given by his entire family. He was cherished by his brother and sister, his brothers- and sisters-in-law, and so many nieces and nephews. Don had an exceptional ability to show up for anyone and everyone who needed him. We know he was smiling down as he saw everyone show up for him. Don was preceded in death by his father Leonard Balas, mother Betty Sterner Balas, and beloved daughter Melissa. He is survived by his wife Susan, their daughter Angela Astrup, son-in-law Anthony Astrup, grandsons Austin and Alex Astrup, his sister Debbie Massengale, his brother Lenny Balas, a huge extended family, and countless friends.
In lieu of flowers and contributions, do something awesome for someone you love. His passing is a reminder of how precious and short this life is.
"ENTRUSTED TO OUR CARE"
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