Betty Balevic

Obituary of Betty V. Balevic

Betty Vasiliki Svolos Balevic, 90, of Schenectady, NY, died on Sunday, January 31 of Alzheimer's Disease. She will be greatly missed by those lucky enough to have known her. Betty was born during the Great Depression in Amsterdam, NY to Marika and Thomas Svolos, Greek immigrants and owners of The Boston Candy Kitchen in downtown Amsterdam. She had many fond memories of visiting and working in the restaurant with her father and her uncles Bill and Pete. The experience left her with a lifelong sweet tooth and a fondness for peanut brittle. A graduate of Syracuse University, Betty worked in retail management at Montgomery Ward in locations throughout upstate NY. She went on to receive her Masters in Business Education from the State University at Albany and began a long teaching career, first at Albany Business College, Empire State College, and St. Rose Graduate School of Management, and then at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs where she was a professor in the Business department for 41 years until her retirement at the age of 80. An exemplary mentor, Betty was a favorite professor and beloved advisor to legions of students, coaching them through their courses and helping them secure internships and full time jobs. As a tribute to her longtime service, a classroom in Skidmore's Palamountain Hall was named in her honor. Betty served multiple terms as chair of the Business department and also worked for 20 years in Skidmore's University Without Walls program where she taught at Comstock Maximum Security Prison. Diminutive in stature, she passed through the metal detectors every week to teach business classes to the inmates; it was one of her most rewarding teaching experiences. In addition to her professional career, Betty was elected to the Mohonasen Board of Education in Rotterdam, NY and served as President of the Board of Cooperate Educational Services (BOCES) where she volunteered her time for many years. In 1958, Betty married John Balevic and settled in Rotterdam where they raised their family. A devoted mother, her love for her children was absolute; they came before everything else and were a source of immense pride. She was a fierce role model as a full-time working mom before it was common. Friendly and sweet, Betty couldn't take a plane or train ride without becoming fast friends with the stranger sitting next to her by the time they arrived. She doted on her nine grandchildren, to whom she was known as "Yia Yia Betty", and thoroughly enjoyed spoiling them and making them feel special. She loved traveling, whether for business or pleasure; playing the piano, which she continued well into her 80's; and dancing, especially to the swing tunes of a big band. Betty's loving family includes her three children; Christine Brown (Rick) of Fairfield, CT, Trudy Bell (Gordon) of Greenville, SC and David Balevic (Jennifer) of Houston, TX; her stepson John Balevic (Deborah) of Tucson, AZ; and her nine grandchildren, Alex, Abbie, Lydia, Jamie, Esther, Katie, Amelia, Emma and Audrey; as well as her brother, Marinos Svolos (Sebbie) of Baltimore, MD and two nephews, Tom (Carol) and Mark Svolos. She was predeceased by her exhusband, John, and stepdaughter, Mary Beth Soucisse. A private funeral service will be held at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Schenectady, NY with interment at Fairview Cemetery in Amsterdam. The family requests any remembrances be made in her memory to the Alzheimer's Association at www.alz.org.
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