Stephanie Ann Balnaitis, 69, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, at Lower Cape Fear Hospice. Stephanie was born in Cohoes, N.Y., on August 1, 1946, to Anthony and Vivian Balnaitis.
Stephanie had a distinguished 30-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency, traveling worldwide and establishing many lifelong friends. She retired to Wilmington in 2003. A beautiful sisterhood bond with Mimi, Marie, Ellen, Joan and Mindy was a lifetime treasure to her. A young neighborhood boy, Max Levy, brought joy to her heart as she nurtured and watched him grow into a young man and an accomplished saxophone musician.
She was an active member of the Wilmington Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, and she enjoyed the friendship of many of the parishioners of the congregation. Her dear friend and caregiver, Claudia Sing, and a major support group of precious friends shared many of her life’s moments as well as her final journey. Her passion was living life to the fullest with love, laughter and sparkles. She loved children and volunteered in the community, working with the under-privileged. An avid reader and writer, she composed several short stories. She enjoyed the theater, a good movie, an exciting mystery, and a productive shopping excursion always brought a smile to her face.
She thoroughly enjoyed hearing or telling a good joke and shared her humorous talent as a stand-up comedienne. Hosting gatherings at her home, playing cards, conversing with her Ashley Park Community friends, the pool, beaches and collecting shells were among her favorite times. Traveling with family and friends, she loved to explore the natural beauties of the world. She treasured art works and music and her home reflected her elegant style of warmth and love.
Stephanie had a beautiful smile and contagious laughter, greeting all with open arms. Once you met Stephanie, your life was blessed, and she was your caring friend forever. A gift she gave to all of us was her love of God, family, friends and her joyous laughter. We will miss her deeply, but she is in our hearts and we will always carry her love and her words with us, ‘God bless’ and ‘Always keep smiling!’
She is survived by her loving family including sister, Kathy DelSignore (Bob) of Watervliet, N.Y.; nieces, Stephanie and Kimberly; sister, MaryAnn Weeks (Tom) of Green Valley, Ariz.; nephew, Christian; niece, Jennifer; grand-nephews, Zachary and Nicholas; and grand-niece, Allison; and her beloved extended family, the Rev. Sean (Kerry) and Eowyn Rosseau, L.J., Aislinn and Summer Grace Garcia of South Riding, Va., and Louis (Renee) and Grayson Garcia of Brambleton,Va.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 7, at Immaculate Conception Church, 6650 Carolina Beach Road, Wilmington. Inurnment will take placement at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice at tmcfunding.com.
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