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Anthony 'Ed’ Balcerzak, retired Veterans Administration pharmacist and Loyola High Hall of Famer, dies

Anthony Edwin Balcerzak
Anthony Edwin Balcerzak

Anthony Edwin Balcerzak Sr., a retired Veterans Administration pharmacist, died of cancer April 30 at his Timonium home. He was 84.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Locust Point, he was the son of Marion F. Balcerzak Sr., a postal worker and Paderewski Building and Loan Association treasurer, and his wife, Cecilia Mazur, a homemaker. Mr. Balcerzak attended Our Lady of Good Counsel School and played drums in the school’s drum and bugle corps. He was a 1953 graduate of what was then Loyola High School at Blakefield, where he played baseball and football and was on the swim team.

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“He competed in swim meets at the [Naval] Academy against the midshipmen,” Annie Balcerzak Molloy, his daughter, said. “He was the captain of the football team in his junior and senior years. He was called the human vacuum at shortstop and was a power hitter, batting cleanup in the fourth position. He played against many greats including [Southern High’s] Al Kaline.”

Mr. Balcerzak was named an All-Maryland basketball center by Baltimore Sun sportswriters. In 2012 he was inducted into the Loyola High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

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He earned a degree at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He then joined the Army and served in Texas in the medical corps.

He worked for the old Read’s drug store chain and other pharmacies. He was later a pharmacist at Good Samaritan Hospital and then joined the Veterans Administration hospitals in Loch Raven and downtown Baltimore. He retired in 1996.

A football fan, he attended the Baltimore Colts’ 1958 NFL championship game against the New York Giants. He caught a game ball kicked by placekicker Pat Summerall, which his family still has.

Mr. Balcerzak, who lived in Homeland, coached in the Roland Park Little League. The family later moved to Glyndon where they lived for 30 years before relocating to Lutherville in 2010.

Mr. Balcerzak had a real estate license and sold properties in Baltimore and Ocean City. He also was a real estate investor and bought Eastern Shore poultry farms that he operated with his son.

He was an enthusiastic vegetable and flower gardener. At his winter home in Marco Island, Florida, he grew lemons, limes, avocados and pears.

“His personality was magnetic, and once you met him, you couldn’t wait to see him again. He had this incredible freeness to be unapologetically himself at all times to all people,” said his daughter.

Mr. Balcerzak also enjoyed time on his boat, playing golf and tennis and going skiing and fishing. He was a devoted grandfather.

Plans for a memorial Mass and life celebration are incomplete.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 52 years, Patricia E. Balcerzak, a retired Baltimore County Schools teacher; two sons, Anthony Edwin Balcerzak Jr. of Ocean City and John Balcerzak of Charlotte, North Carolina; a sister, Regina Marie Balcerzak of Ocean City; and eight grandchildren.

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