Monday, September 30, 2019

Siomara Clotilde Savio Morales de Balmori

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DANVILLE, Va. - Siomara Clotilde Savio Morales de Balmori, 87 of Danville, Virginia, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, March 7, 2013, while a patient in Danville Regional Medical Center. She was born in Havana, Cuba on June 3, 1925, to the late Amador Savio Perez and Evangelina Morales Montiel de Savio.
In 1950 she married her high school sweetheart, Enrique Balmori Osorio, who preceded her in death in 1984. They had one daughter, Evangelina Balmori, who survives to remember and cherish her memory.

Mrs. Balmori graduated from high school in 1946 and attended the University of Havana, where she was a student in the school of law, the school of education, and the school of social work. She graduated from the University of Havana in 1953. She served as the administrator of a school for boys and worked in the family law firm. Mrs. Balmori and her family left Cuba for the United States on February 5, 1962 as a result of the Cuban Revolution of Fidel Castro, resulting in a communist government of the island.
She and her family arrived in Miami, Florida as political refugees. She was always grateful to the United States for allowing Cuban refugees to live in the wonderful freedoms of the American democracy. In 1965, Mrs. Balmori, having mastered the English language, enrolled at the University of Miami, Flordia, school of education. Her goal was to become a Spanish teacher and live the American dream by working during the day and attending university at night. Mrs. Balmori believed that “an honest job was always an honorable job.”
She graduated in 1967. In 1969, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Master’s in Education.

Mrs. Balmori was employed in the Caswell County Schools in North Carolina for 25 years, where she taught Spanish and Civics at Bartlett Yancey High. Even though she retired in 1990, she is still remembered by her students and their children as an effective and formidable teacher, who was a great disciplinarian. She was often described as one of the most “original characters” to ever walk the halls at Bartlett Yancey High School.

Many were touched by her passion for the subjects she taught, her love for America, her patriotism for the United States, of which she became a proud U.S. citizen in 1969. She often spoke in churches and to civic organizations about the experiences which she had endured in Cuba under the right wing dictatorship of Batista and the communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro, and the perils of communism to Cuba and the world. For this reason she always exercised her right to vote at every election. Even until the end of her life, she felt that it was every citizen’s duty and responsibility.

Mrs. Balmori was a long-time member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the University of Miami Alumni Association, past member of the Association of University Women, the National Association of Education, the North Carolina Association of Educators, the Caswell County Association of Educators, the Association of Spanish and Portuguese Teachers, the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina, the Sacred Heart Parish Counsel, and Americans By Choice Society of Danville.

During her retirement in the 1990’s, she taught Spanish and volunteered at the Montessori School in Danville. Mrs. Balmori was often called to translate for the judicial and law enforcement agencies of Caswell County and Danville. She did this as a volunteer. Lawyers and medical agencies also called for her services in translating. She worked with the Migrant Ministry of Sacred Heart Church. Volunteering was her way of repaying the United States for allowing her to live in the greatest country in the world.

Mrs. “B’s” zest for life and continued thirst for knowledge was evident in her many adventures which included traveling around the world and the United States.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by her brother, Amador Savio of Havana; her niece Ainhoa Savio of Havana; her nephew, Dr. Francisco M. Gil (Ret. Lt. Col. U.S. Army) of Grenada, Spain; her grandnieces Dr. Cindy Gil (James) of West Sussex, England, Dr. Patricia Gil of Ronda, Spain; her great-grandniece, Beth Dolan of West Sussex, England, many cousins in the U.S.A. and Cuba, Patricia Bennett, loving caregiver who was like a second daughter and many wonderful friends who were there until the end.

¡Viva Cuba Libre!

A Mass of Christian burial will be held Tuesday, March 12 at 2:00 P.M. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with the Rev. Anthony Marques officiating.
Visitation will be held from 7:00 until 8:30 P.M. at Swicegood Funeral Home on Monday, March 11, 2013.

Donations may be made to the Cherokee District Boy Scouts of America c/o George Daniel, Attorney at Law, Yanceyville, North Carolina, 27379.
Swicegood Funeral Home is respectfully serving the Balmori family.

Her family came to the US in 1959 with little but the clothes on their backs, having lost homes and property to Castro's takeover. She was bitterly anti-Communist forever after. She was a social worker in Cuba, and her husband was an accountant there, I believe. I remember her telling me that when she first came to the US, she worked in a hospital (in Dayton, Ohio?) cleaning the floors. She would not accept other positions, because she could stay on her knees looking at the floor so no one could see her crying.

Source: Bill Bush 30 September 2019 Post to Caswell County Historical Association Facebook Page.

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