Lithuania's Foreign Minister expresses condolences over passing of Stanley Balzek Jr
On 19 June, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius expressed his condolences over the passing of one of the most well known Lithuanian public figures in the United States, the Honorary Consul of Lithuania in Florida, the founder of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, the patron and an especially eager promoter of the Lithuanian national identity – Stanley Balzek Jr.
“Stanley Balzek Jr. proved love to his motherland by his life and purposeful daily activities. He restlessly built bridges between the U.S. and Lithuanian business, scientific and cultural institutions. Thanks to him, many second- , third- and even later-generation Lithuanian Americans have established a direct relationship with their old homeland. We will always remember him and the long-term work that he has done for the sake of Lithuania, as well as his efforts to preserve the Lithuanian national identity in the world.
In 2016, Stanley Balzek Jr. received the Grand Cross of Commander of the Order for Merits to Lithuania for the promotion of the Lithuanian culture and history in the U.S., for his tireless work aimed at consolidating Lithuania‘s statehood, and for spreading the Lithuanian national awareness among the émigré community. This year, he was also awarded the Golden Vytis Badge of Honor by Lithuania‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the engagement of the Lithuanian diaspora in the development of the country and in Lithuania‘s daily life.
During this difficult time of loss, in my own name and on behalf of the entire Lithuanian diplomatic service, I would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Stanley Balzek, the Lithuanian community of the U.S., the Lithuanian World Community, and to everyone who has cherished this legendary personality," the Minister L. Linkevičius wrote in the letter of condolences.