Jane Frances Balmes, 97, of Lodi, passed away peacefully at 6 A.M., Sunday, January 20, 2019. Jane was born March 14, 1921 in Wilmette, Illinois to George Michael Balmes and Lucy Susan (nee Herres) Balmes.
Jane graduated from St. Francis Academy and the College of St. Francis (now University), Joliet, Illinois. She obtained her MA from The University of Notre Dame, Indiana and did further study at the School of Art of the Chicago Art Museum and the American Academy of Art, Chicago.
As a teen, Jane joined the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate and taught for 25 years in their schools; in Joliet, St. John the Baptist; Chicago, St. Francis of Assisi; Hubbard Woods, Sacred Heart; Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus, Joliet and St. Francis Academy, Joliet. She moved to Ohio in 1965 and taught art at John F. Kennedy and James Ford Rhodes High Schools where she also served as Cleveland Teachers Union chairperson for many years. She retired in 2002. She served as director of the Medina School of Art, now defunct and taught summer classes for several years at The Cleveland Institute of Art.
Jane was a mosaic muralist and specialized, also, in screen printing, sculpture and design. Her signature work is the series of mosaic murals in Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home in Joliet, Illinois.
Jane loved animals and assisted with animal rescue during all of her years in Ohio. She also loved to garden and share her produce and was always available to help others. Jane enjoyed making life better for everyone around her.
She leaves behind sisters, Elizabeth "Betsy" Balmes, Violet (Paul) Sullivan of Wheat Ridge, Colorado; friend of more than 50 years, Dr. Bonnie J. Alsatian of Lodi and her German Shepherd companion, Freedom.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Mary Ann "Nancy" (George) Machacek and Susan (Bill) Simms; brothers, George Michael (Emma), Michael Joseph (Patricia), Francis "Frank" Anthony and infant siblings, Thomas and John "Bubby."
At Jane's determination, there will be no formal funeral.
It would please her if memorials were sent to Cleveland Teachers Union Scholarship Fund at 279R; Medina County SPCA or The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation