Robert William Balaban, 75, born June 29, 1940 to the late Jack and Bertha Balaban passed away after an extended illness on March 13, 2016 surrounded by his loved ones. Bob was a lifelong resident of Colchester, Connecticut. He graduated from Windham Technical High School in 1958 and shortly thereafter started up his first business, Balaban’s TV and Radio. In 1961, Bob had the good fortune of delivering a television to Israel and Olga Gendler. It was during this delivery where he met their daughter, Maria, who, shortly thereafter became the love of his life. The story goes that Maria immediately knew she had met her destiny, and purposely pulled a wire on the new television to ensure Bob’s return. The rest is history. The two married on March 4, 1962 and have been blessed and fortunate to have celebrated 54 years of love, devotion and happiness. He is survived by his beloved Maria, “Marineough”, as he lovingly referred to her, their two children, Mark Alan Balaban and his wife, Elisa, and Jodi (Balaban) Mendlinger and her husband, Peter, six grandchildren, Elizabeth Chon of New York, Israel Jake Balaban, Michael Logan Balaban, Olivia Blake Mendlinger, Jordan Ilan Balaban and Nash Eron Mendlinger, sister, Ruth Berezin of Californa, special sister and brother in-law, Marcia and Albert Daversa, and several nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved and adored. He was predeceased by his sister, Ida Balaban and his brother, Julius Balaban. Bob’s career was filled with tremendous fulfillment and accomplishments as well. He was a visionary with incredible foresight and creativity. From Balaban’s TV and Radio he moved on to his next business venture where he was joined by the late, Donald W. Standish, and together they formed Balaban and Standish. After expanding to Old Saybrook, Deep River and Middletown, in 1967 they acquired Linderme and Zurcher, and, in 1971 they went on to acquire Hallock’s Furniture and Appliance Store. In the mid 80’s Bob started his second career in real estate development and later moved into the building and construction aspect of the real estate business. While Bob had no formal training in construction, he possessed an innate sense of how buildings should be; he had the golden touch. It was his pride and joy to eventually build his son and daughter’s dream homes, where they still reside with their families. Among these accomplishments, he also served as a member of the Board of Directors and ultimately, President, of Ahavath Achim Synagogue in Colchester, as well as serving as the President of The Colchester Rotary Club. Bob had a heart of gold with a philanthropic nature, he was generous to a fault, and fiercely loved and cherished by his family. He was an exemplary role model for his family, friends and employees. Even more telling than this was the kind and respectful manner in which Bob treated his friends, employees, co-workers, tenants and associates. Bob treated people as though they were members of his family and his passing leaves a void which can never be filled. He will be sorely missed by everyone who had the honor of knowing him. The family would also like to thank Lynda Verrill and Sandy Gallucci, who provided outstanding, compassionate and dedicated care when Bob was at home, as well as the other home healthcare providers and the kind and wonderful caregivers at Middlesex Hospice, who helped make Bob’s final days peaceful. May his memory be a source of strength and courage and a blessing for all those who knew and loved him.
A funeral will be held TODAY, Monday, March 14, 2016 at 3:00 pm at Chabad Jewish Center of Glastonbury, 25 Harris Street, with Rabbi Yosef Wolvovsky officiating. Following Interment, the family will receive friends at Peter and Jodi Mendlinger’s home, 80 School Road, Colchester and thereafter for seven days from 2 pm – 8 pm. In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to MGH Stroke Research Center/CAA Stroke Development Office c/o Shawn Fitzgibbons, 100 Cambridge St., Ste. 1310, Boston, MA 02114. Please make your checks payable to Mass General Hospital with the memo: 1200-028184, or visit the “Support” section at angiopathy.org. Donations can also be made to the Middlesex Hospice and Palliative Care, 28 Crescent Street, Middletown, CT 06457. The arrangements have been entrusted to Weinstein Mortuary, Hartford, CT.