A beloved local North Jersey gas station owner died after a battle with COVID-19, those who knew him said.
Anthony Balloutine, 42, of Totowa, died on Nov. 23 after several weeks of fighting COVID-19 and pneumonia, according to a GoFundMe launched for his family.
"While quarantined with COVID-19 at home, his lungs were being attacked and his breathing was becoming more labored with every day that passed," the page's founder Kristin Karam wrote.
"He was then admitted to the hospital and about a week later he was in critical condition and needed to be put on a ventilator. Anthony had a tracheotomy procedure shortly after and has been on an ECMO machine, which pumps and oxygenates his blood outside his body, allowing his heart and lungs to rest."
More than $66,000 had been raised as of Sunday morning on the GoFundMe, which remembered Balloutine as a loving dad and hardworking business owner.
Balloutine ran the BP station on Riverview Drive. In his spare time, he volunteered in a local pediatric cancer ward to "ease the pain" and keep young cancer patients company, Balloutine's obituary says.
"If you had a baby, Anthony was the first one to visit with flowers and gifts. If you were ill, Anthony would drop off food every day until he knew you were okay," his obit says.
"Their home was the community hub; he loved to have his family and friends over to feast and watch the kids play. Everyone felt as if Anthony was their best friend and it’s because that is how he made you feel; you felt loved, special, understood and appreciated. Anthony was love in motion. His presence will live in our hearts forever."
Anthony is survived by his wife, Ashley (nee Van Winkle) Balloutine; children Anthony, Talia and Layla Balloutine; parents Edward & Hajaleh (nee Musleh) Balloutine; siblings; relatives and a host of friends and loved ones.
Visitation was Sunday, Nov. 28 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Festa Memorial Funeral Home in Totowa. Internment will be Nov. 29 at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
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