Raymond John Balulis

COLUMBIA – Raymond John Balulis of Columbia died Monday, Sept. 20, 2010. He was 60.

Mr. Balulis was born to Alphonse and Antoinette Melusky Balulis on Nov. 5, 1949, in Pottsville, Penn.

He served in the United States Air Force in Panama. Mr. Balulis moved to Columbia in 1977, where he worked in the maintenance department at Boone Hospital Center for more than 30 years.

Mr. Balulis enjoyed boating on the Missouri River and at the Lake of the Ozarks. He loved being outdoors and exploring nature.

“He used to like to walk on the MKT and bike ride on the trail until he bought a boat," said his daughter, Tori Martin. "Then that stopped. He was always on the river. He didn’t fish. He just rode around and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and company.”

Mr. Balulis was also a family man.

“He had a 5-year-old grandson at home he absolutely adored,” Martin said. “He absolutely loved children. He was the best parent or grandparent anyone ever could have asked for.”

Mr. Balulis always had a smile on his face and something nice to say, she said.

“He could never be serious about everything or anything," Martin said. "He was always cracking a joke or playing a trick on people, like buying fake toy mice and putting them places at work.”

Survivors include his companion, Mary Grotewiel of Columbia; a son, Ian Balulis of Texas; his daughter, Tori Martin of Sturgeon; a brother, Anthony Balulis of Lititz, Penn.; three sisters, Frances Mitchell of Smithville, N.J., Mary Hardvall of Tryon, N.C. and Rosanne McAuley of Rock Hill, S.C.; a grandson, Dylan Balulis, and two nieces.

His father died earlier.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at Parker Funeral Service, 22 N. Tenth St. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1115 Locust St.

Contributions may be given to the family for a memorial to be placed on the MKT Trail or to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA, 22312. The American Diabetes Association also accepts contributions online.

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