Hunting 05

Robert Balatka Sr.

February 15, 1926 ~ March 30, 2022 (age 96)
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Obituary

BALATKA, Robert Sr.

Robert (Bohuslav) Balatka Sr. passed away on Wednesday March 30, 2022, at the Ross Memorial Hospital, Lindsay, Ontario. He is predeceased by his wife of sixty-four years Norma Elizabeth (Betty) Balatka (née Berst). He was the cherished son of the late Bohuslav and Anna (Strnadova) Balatka, brother to the late Adolf Balatka, of the Czech Republic.

Lovingly remembered by his children Robert Edward Balatka Jr. and wife, Brenda Fletcher (Balatka); John David Balatka; Elizabeth Ann Balatka (Weed) her husband, Thomas Michael Weed, and son Michael John Scott Weed; and Thomas Jeffery Balatka and partner, James Parsons.

Robert was born February 15, 1926 in the village of Bozkov, Semily District in the Liberec Region of the Czech Republic. He was raised on a homestead that has been in his family since the late 1700s. After attending the University of Prague, Faculty of Arts, and following the Second World War, Robert was encouraged by his family to leave the Czech Republic.

After landing in Halifax, Robert's first home was in London, Ontario, where at a YMCA dance held at the London Armories, he met his wife-to-be Norma Elizabeth (Betty) Berst from Woodstock, Ontario. The couple moved to Toronto where Robert made his living as a Commercial Artist, Betty as a Registered Nurse. Shortly before his passing, Dad would joke that when they met, he “had to line up to meet your mother, rather than go on-line”.

The family spent many years at Lake Simcoe. On hot summer nights we would head out to Jackson's Point for ice cream and take in the spectacular lakeshore sunsets on our slow, winding drive back to the cottage. Dad would say "nothing like a sunset over Lake Simcoe".  As adults, whenever we visited our parents at the lake, more often than not we would find them fishing on their small speck of a boat far offshore...whitecaps be damned!

Bob and Betty moved to Bobcaygeon to retire, where they became very much involved in and supported by the community. Bob and his grandson Michael spent many an evening at the dam fishing for Pickerel...where they witnessed shooting stars, full moons, and the sound of a Loon far off in the night. Bob and Betty made countless road trips to Nogies Creek to take in nature's beauty and to pick wild raspberries.

Dad made paper airplanes with us kids, including his grandson, Michael. He taught us how to "catch the big one."

Robert Balatka, Dad, had a full, meaningful and impactful life. He will be deeply missed.

 

 


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