A true matriarch has passed. Adele Balcer, 94, nee Serwatka, has joined her late husband and beloved "hunchy" (honey) Joseph A. Balcer, after embracing a life of hard work, family dedication, and strong moral values. Adele will be long remembered and greatly missed by her children: Joe Balcer, Alexandria, Va., Sharon Smoski (Walt), Blowing Rock, NC., Terry Balcer, St. Charles, Mo., and Cindy Dorsey (Bob), Ballwin, Mo.. To Adele, family was everything, and nothing made her happier than to be surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, playing a game of ping pong, cards, or a good game of washers.
Adele was the third of six children, born to Alexander and Natalia Serwatka, who emigrated from Poland in the early 1900s. Tragedy struck the family in 1929 as Alexander was killed at the age of 39 in in a work-related railroad accident, just as the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. And so began a life of hard work and self-reliance. As she grew, Adele was of the Rosie-The-Riveter era, running a crane during the World War II effort. Over her lifetime, Adele worked a wide variety of jobs including meat processor in the packing house district, sales work at George's Pastry Shop in Granite City, dietary aide for years at St. Elizabeth Hospital/Gateway Medical Center, and dedicated volunteer at the hospital gift shop. Mom was a member of the Young-at-Heart Club at Holy Family parish in Granite City, and was known as the "pie-lady" at church functions. Adele was never still— hosting holiday meals into her 80's, babysitting grandchildren, taking food to her co-workers at the hospital, providing meals for funeral luncheons, tending her rose and vegetable gardens, and working out at the Wellness Center.
Adele dearly loved her nine grandchildren: Moria Smoski (Roy), Matt Balcer (Irina), Josh Curtis, Andrew Balcer, Sarah Binder (Bill), Michael Balcer (Kelsey), Adam Willis (Sarah) Jeremy Dorsey (Jamie), and Justin Dorsey (Kellie) and her thirteen beautiful great-grandchildren. Adele is survived by brother Roman Serwatka (Overland Park, Ks.), Stan Serwatka (Fairmont City, Il.), and Sr. Jocelyn Serwatka, OSF (Decatur, Il.) Adele was preceeded in death by her parents Alexander and Natalia Serwatka, sister Irene Niedzwiecki, brother Sigmund Serwatka, and lovely grand-daughter Lauren Curtis. Visitation Mon. 5-8 p.m. Irwin Chapel Granite City, IL. Mass Tue. 10 a.m. Holy Family Catholic Church. Donations may be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society or the St. Louis Alzheimers Association.
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