God called an angel home. Irene Genevieve Balint, age 91, of McKeesport, died July 10, 2017, after a brief yet fierce, battle with cancer. Born in McKeesport, November 9, 1925, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Genevieve Mika Maykut and the wife of the late Stephen J. Balint. Irene was retired from the Internal Revenue Service, where she worked as a clerk. In her earlier years, she worked at Menzie Dairy.
Irene's life revolved around caring for her family and her faith in God. She faced many challenges in life but always kept a positive attitude and generous heart. A lifelong member of Saint Mary's Czestochowa/Corpus Christi Church, and involved in many of their ministries. She was an officer of Christian Mothers, a crocheter of prayer shawls, a pincher of pierogies and a Corpus Christi Senior. She was a proud, card carrying member of the Polish National Alliance (PNA), Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees and Silver Sneakers. She also crocheted lavish scarves, as well as panels for Knit The Bridge and had her recipe for her coveted pierogies published in Rivers of Steel and St. Mary's heritage cookbooks. She was schooled in many years of the PNA's Polish Classes and traveled quite a distance weekly to get there, but always made it home in time to meet the treasured Church Ladies for mass and dinner. She loved sharing her home with her cockatiels and visiting pups and bunnies. Irene looked forward to her weekend polka broadcasts and listening to all of the Pirates baseball games on the radio. She kept her social calendar full with bingo, trips to the casino and JCP hair Salon, as well as computer games and keeping in touch by phone, email, FaceBook and video chats.
Irene loved family - not only was she actively involved with her daughters, she always looked forward to spending time getting to know her grandchildren and nieces and nephews. She took the time to craft many treasured memories with each of them. She also loved meeting new people and spending time learning their story.
She is survived by her children, Cynthia Rapchak Kleckner (Barry Kleckner) of Dallas, TX and Suaz Forsythe (Craig Byrum) of Pittsburgh; grandchildren, Brian Mikel and Neil Scott Kleckner (Maygen Hiser) of Dallas, TX; great granddaughter, Maya Lorea Kleckner of Dallas, TX; niece, Genevieve Lutzel (Ted Lutzel) of Rockwall, Tx and nephew, Joseph Maykut (Donna Maykut) of Oviedo, FL; also many other nieces and nephews peppered throughout the states. In addition to her parents and husband, Irene was preceded in death by her first husband, Joseph Rapchak and a son, Robert Joseph Rapchak.
Family and friends will be received at Jaycox-Jaworski Funeral Home & Crematory on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, from 2 - 4 p.m. and 7 - 9 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, July 13, 2017, 10 a.m., at Corpus Christi Church. Fr. Kevin J. Dominik will be the celebrant. Committal will follow in the St. Mary Polish Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested to Rabbit Wranglers, P.O. Box 8003, Pgh., PA 15216.
Condolences may be shared at www.jaycox-jaworskifh.com
Originally published July 11, 2017.