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Julia Balla



Julianna “Julia” Balla, age 98, of Wayne, passed peacefully on Thursday, January 26, 2017.

She was born in the bucolic village of Kisrozvagy, Hungary on Christmas Day 1918, shortly after the guns had fallen silent along the Western Front of World War I. In a bygone time of horse drawn carts and carriages, she spent her youth in Kisrozvagy as a pastoral farm girl. Seeking new life and opportunity amidst the ravages of post war Europe’s global conflict, she immigrated to the United States at the insistence of her father. At the tender age of seventeen, she departed her home country for an unknown fate in a foreign land. She came by ship, surviving an arduous transatlantic voyage that she would later speak of, with a passionate earnest, for the rest of her life. Arriving in America, she had no money, and could not speak English. Despite this, she did not fall, but made her stand in the face of adversity, showing an indomitable and unshakeable resilience and resourcefulness that those who knew her, will not forget. She assimilated into American society, securing status as a citizen, of which she was immensely proud.

As an immigrant, she bore the indignity of menial labor and low wages, vowing not to return home until she had saved no small sum of $1,000. She worked as a domestic in Roseland, New Jersey where she met her future husband of fifty five years, Joseph Balla.

Characteristic of the ambition and determination for which she is remembered, she was able to buy her first home in Kearny, NJ, using that precious savings of $1000, in the early 1940s. It was at this time, that her husband, Joseph, was drafted into the U.S. Navy to fight in the world’s sec-ond, great global conflict of the century. Although allowed a short deferment for the birth of their first son, Joseph departed for the war effort, leaving Julia to raise their first born son. Her hus-band served in the navy from 1944-1945, before returning home. In 1954, the couple moved to the then sparsely populated township of Wayne, where they bought the house they owned for the next sixty-three years.

Julia will be remembered as an incredibly strong woman of character. She was honest, intensely independent, critically intelligent, and astute up until the very end. Julia was incredibly proud and protective of her family, and instilled in them the strong desire to succeed. She was a great be-liever in education. Both of her sons, Joseph and Robert, will remember her undying devotion to her family as she worked in the hot, confined conditions of a sweat shop, as a piece-work seam-stress, earning fractions of a cent for every garment she sewed. It was an undesirable, hard, and tedious job, at which she proudly excelled as the highest paid worker, due to her dexterous speed and agility. It was by this unfailing, dogged determination that she financed the education of her boys, laying the foundation for their future careers as dentists. One can say, without a doubt, that she was truly proud of her two sons, Joseph, and Robert.

Julianna will be remembered for her excellent, ethnic culinary skills of Hungarian cuisine. Those who enjoyed her home cooking will always remember hearty meals of stuffed cabbage, chicken paprikash, and dumpling soup. True to tradition, her meals were served with five different types of meat, and will be greatly missed. In her kindly affable manner, she loved nature, especially gardening, with a special affinity for moon flowers. She loved animals, always delighting in the presence of family pets, whether they were cats or dogs. Her grandchildren, Debbie, and Amy especially remember their grandmother’s love and generosity as she hand measured them each Fall season for holiday wear. At Christmas, there was always that special, sentimental hand sewn gift from grandma in the form of a hand-knitted garment. Those who spent time with her will also remember her unusual luck with lottery scratch off games, which she thoroughly en-joyed.

Julia was the loving wife of the late Joseph Balla (1997); devoted mother of Dr. Joseph Balla and his wife Carol, of Franklin Lakes; Dr. Robert Balla and his wife Ellen of Canton CT. She was the cherished grandmother of Deborah Troy, Amy Eilert, Alexander Balla, and Gregory Balla. She was the much loved great-grandmother of Benjamin Eilert, Samuel Eilert, and Carly Troy. Julianna was the dear sister of the late Steve Kiss and Gizella Godzsak. 

Friends may visit with the family on Monday, January 30, 2016 from 10 AM - 11:30 AM.  At 11:30 AM a funeral service will be held.  Interment will follow at the Wyckoff Reformed Church Cemetery. 


Guest Book


Please except my deepest sympathies at this time of intense and profound sorrow. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones.

Sandy lewis


What an amazing person and what a remarkable life she lived! A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on. Please accept our condolences, she will not be forgotten! Love Michael and Marie

Michael and Marie Lewis


So sorry to hear about Mrs. Balla. We were neighbors for so many years. My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time. I always enjoyed chatting with her in the nice weather. We will miss our lovely neighbor. Patty & Steve O'Neill

Patty ONeill


Dear Mom, I miss you so much. I miss our talks. I miss our laughs. You were my wonderful friend. Love, Ellie

Ellen Balla

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