Loretta Bala

Loretta Bala, 98, of Saranac Lake, died Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, at her home.

Born in Poughkeepsie on July 2, 1915, she was the daughter of Joseph and Victoria (Fazol) Brzezinski. Loretta married John Balla, he predeceased her on Sept. 4, 1988.

Loretta was a graduate of St. Joseph’s Polish Parochial School and Poughkeepsie High School. She was a graduate of Hudson River State Hospital School of Nursing with a one year affiliation in Bellevue Hospital in New York City receiving her RN degree in 1937. Shortly after that she contracted Tuberculosis and came to Saranac Lake to cure. After she recovered she became a member of the nursing staff at Ray Brook Hospital retiring in 1970. Following that she worked as a private-duty nurse in the Saranac Lake area. Loretta was a volunteer at the Red Cross Blood Bank, and was a member of St. Bernard’s Parish, the Catholic Daughters of America, Court St. Bernard, the Saranac Lake Adult Center, the Association of Marion Helpers and enjoyed making rosaries, sewing and crochet, collecting cook books and Polish stamps. In 1972 she and her husband John went to Poland and visited athletes they had met while the athletes were competing in Lake Placid. During the 1980 Winter Olympics they offered their home to a family member of a Polish Olympian.

She is survived by one sister, Josephine Whalen of Ogdensburgh; several nieces and nephews including Roxann Larotonda and her husband Joseph of Raleigh, N.C., Edward Kimlin of Alexandria, Va., John Kimlin of Poughkeepsie, Peter Brezinski of Poughkeepsie, Judith Hirt of Ogdensburgh, Robert Brezinski of Poughkeepsie, Jean Mitchell of Ogdensburgh, Victoria Peterson of Castro Valley, Calif., Jane Brezinski of Poughkeepsie, Mary Vanburen of Amsterdam, N.Y., and John Whalen of Levittown, Pa.

She was preceded in death by her father, mother, two brothers John and Ted Brzezinski, and one sister Irene Kimlin.

Calling hours will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A Catholic Daughters service will take place at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at St. Bernard’s Church, with the Rev. Patrick Ratigan officiating. Burial will follow at St. Bernard Cemetery in Saranac Lake.

Friends wishing to remember Loretta Bala may make memorial contributions to the Catholic Daughters of America Court St. Bernard in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.