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James E. Balitsos, Sr., 88, Of Norwalk

NORWALK, Conn. – James E. Balitsos, Sr., 88, of Norwalk, died Monday, June 29 at The Greens in Wilton, Connecticut.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York, Dec. 14, 1926. He was the son of Efthimious and Eleftheria Balitsos.

He was raised in Astoria, Queens. He was very active in sports both as a player and manager. He played football and amateur hockey. A highlight of his career was scrimmaging against the New York Rangers at the old Madison Square Garden at the age of 15. He was also part of a professional diving show at the Aqua Stadium at the old World’s Fairgrounds in Queens. At 17, he joined the Navy and served in the Seabees in the Pacific during World War II.

After his service, he began a 35-year career in the advertising industry. During that time, he worked on many notable campaigns with many of the industry leaders. After his retirement, he co-founded Diray TV in Wilton with his son, James. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed traveling to many golf courses throughout the country. He was a member of the Mill River Country Club in Stratford, Connecticut. In addition to various trade organizations, he was also a member of the national Greek fraternal association (AHEPA).

He was most proud of was being on the Board of Directors of Leake & Watts Children’s Home in New York City. He and his brother spent some of their early years there upon the death of their father. One of his passions in his retirement was politics – both local and national.

He is survived by his son James (Marie); his son Stephen; his daughter, Diane King (Jeff) of Connecticut; and son Jeffrey (Shannon) of Nashville, Tennessee; eight grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Friends are invited to join his family for funeral services Thursday, July 2 at 10 a.m. at the Magner Funeral Home, 12 Mott Ave., Norwalk, with burial to follow at Riverside Cemetery in Norwalk.

It is requested that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to Leake & Watts Children’s Home, 463 Hawthorne Ave., Yonkers, NY 10705.

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