Jason Balatico, shot dead in theBy Gregg K. Kakesako
Xerox massacre, was loving and
funny, say family and
and Harold Morse
Two life-size color portraits of Jason Christopher Balatico stood today at the doorway of Our Lady of the Mount Church in Kalihi Valley where he grew up.
Visitors streamed steadily into the church this morning, stopping at the open casket to pay their last respects to the 33-year-old husband and father shot to death Nov. 2 along with six other men at the Xerox building on North Nimitz Highway.
Byran Uyesugi, 40, a Xerox worker, is charged in the slayings.
'You walked out of there
with the sense of the loving and
warm person that he was.'
OF XEROX HAWAII
SPEAKING LAST NIGHT
Performing Mass today was the Rev. Lio Faletoi, pastor of Our Lady of the Mount. During the 50-minute service, two nieces sang songs of appreciation for their uncle. Burial was to follow at Valley of the Temples, making Balatico the third of those killed in the massacre to be laid to rest.
Balatico was a "great guy ... willing to go above and beyond what the job required," said Greg Concilla, whose copiers Balatico serviced at Valente Brothers Graphics. "He always stopped to make sure everything was working," said Concilla, recalling that Balatico once made a service call with family in tow and another time brought breakfast for a worker on the midnight shift.
Last night, more than 1,500 people attended a memorial service for Balatico at Nuuanu Mortuary. He loved life and loved playing pranks and jokes on people, Ian Yee said last night. People cherished the moments they had with Balatico, and he touched their hearts and lives, Yee said.
"You walked out of there with the sense of the loving and warm person that he was," said Yee, marketing director of Xerox Hawaii.
Prayers, songs by family and friends, and stories by those who knew him brought occasional chuckles at reminders of his sense of humor and good-natured pranks.
His brother, Robert, and uncle Robert Cabasug delivered the eulogy, praising Jason as a wonderful father and loving husband.
Friend Rick Rickard recalled their college days together. "Jason lives spiritually," Rickard said. "He lives in our hearts."
Denise Kumalae, Jason's older sister, recalled some humorous moments, and a co-worker called him a great partner and a good friend.
Balatico was a Honolulu native. He played baseball for Farrington High in the early 1980s and took part in other sports. Friends today said he had planned to attend a 15-year class reunion this weekend.
Balatico is survived by wife Merry Lynn, daughter Kehaunani, son Jason Jr., parents Lawrence and Evelyn, brother Robert and sister Denise Kumalae.
The next scheduled services for other victims of the Nov. 2 shootings will be this weekend:
Ron Kataoka, 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at Mililani Mauka Mortuary. Call after 5 p.m.
Ford Kanehira, 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Central Union Church. Call after 4:30 p.m.