Mr. John Bohumil Balla, 96, a resident of Pringle Hill, passed into eternal life Tuesday afternoon in the comfort of his residence with family at his side. He previously resided on Nicholson Street, Wilkes-Barre Township and South Thomas Avenue in Edwardsville prior to the flood of 1972.
Born July 26, 1924 in Wilkes-Barre Township, he was the last of seven children to the late Andrew and Mary (Kaskus) Balla. He was educated in the former Wilkes-Barre Township schools.
Following his education, Mr. Balla proudly served our country with the United States Army during the Second World War. At the time of his honorable discharge from military duties on April 19, 1946, he held the rank of technician fifth grade and earned several medals for his service in the Rhineland.
Mr. Balla worked in the area's former anthracite coal mining industry as a miner with the Huber Colliery of Ashley for several years. Later in life, he worked as a security officer for the Franklin Coal Mine of Wilkes-Barre Township.
John was a life member of Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, North Wilkes-Barre, where he was active in a variety of capacities. He served as the church's bell ringer for over fifty years; was a member of the church council and Beacon Club; held membership in the congregation's bowling leage at Stanton Lanes and was a principal in establishing the church park in Nuangola.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, the former Elizabeth (Sabol) Balla on February 9, 2011. At the time of Mrs. Balla's passing, the couple shared fifty-nine years of married life together. Also preceding him were sisters, Mrs. Mary Stash, Mrs. Helen Marinko, Mrs. Margaret Pangrac, Mrs. Olga Chladon, Mrs. Vilma Horensky and brother, Mr. Daniel Balla.
Left to cherish the wonderful memories they hold of him are his children, Wayne Balla, at home, and Mrs. Deborah Sompel and her husband Andy of West Pittston; Grandchildren; Andy Sompel IV and his wife Kristie; Nathan Sompel and his wife Christy, Kiera Sompel; Great-Grandchildren; Noah and Cullen Sompel; Precious new great-granddaughter, Mavis Rayne Sompel; Step-great-grandchildren including Carleigh and Sean Galliford; Morgan, William, Jonathan, Wyatt, Grace and Nichole; Several nieces and nephews; His church family and several dear friends.
Funeral services for Mr. Balla will be conducted on Friday with services at 11:00 in Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, 663 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre. The Reverend Peter J. Haenftling, pastor, will serve as celebrant and leader of worship. Interment with the Rite of Committal will follow next to his wife in Fern Knoll Burial Park, Midland Avenue, Dallas where military honors will be accorded by members of the United States Army.
Visitation will be held privately and at the convenience of the family. Those wishing to attend are kindly asked to assemble directly at church by 10:50 a.m. Due to the current health crisis; facial masks are required while funeral home staff will assist with social distancing mandates.
In lieu of floral tributes, memorial donations in Mr. Balla’s memory would be sincerely appreciated toward his church, Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, 663 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705.
The John V. Morris Family Funeral Home Inc., 625 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, is honored to care for Mr. Balla and his family at this time.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Bohumil Balla, please visit our floral store.
Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church
663 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre PA 18705