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Ernest and Jean Balogh

Ernest and Jean Balogh

Ernest (Ernie) and Jean (Cannon) Balogh celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary May 5, 2016.

Ernie, a native of Bethlehem, Pa., served during WWII with the Merchant Marines in the Pacific and Atlantic theaters. He was honorably discharged, graduating from King's Point Academy. Afterward, he traveled the U.S. before returning to Pennsylvania to work for Butler Aircraft.

Ernie and Jean met on a blind date arranged by Jean's mother and the mother of one of Ernie's friends. Jean worked as a telephone operator. At the end of their third date, Ernie told Jean, "I think I would like to take care of you for the rest of my life." Jean happily accepted, and they announced their engagement on Valentine's Day in 1951.

In 1952, Ernie began working for Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, Calif. They welcomed their four children during this time, with the youngest being born shortly before their next move, in 1961, to the Sunnyvale area (now known as Silicon Valley) for Ernie's new job at Lockheed.

Ernie and Jean moved to Oregon in the 1970s, and eventually to rural Central Point, where they now reside.

Upon arrival in Southern Oregon, Ernie worked for the Talent Irrigation District and was an instructor for Goodwill Industries. He later founded Balogh Enterprises, a restaurant-equipment repair company.

Jean worked for many years as the switchboard operator at Medford Clinic. She also held positions on the boards of a number of organizations, including president of Altrusa, Catholic Daughters and the first public television channel in the valley. She is known at Shepherd of the Valley and Sacred Heart Catholic Church for her many years singing soprano in the choirs. Together they owned and operated two area laundromats and built a mini-storage facility.

Their four children are Tom (Zhu Hong), who works at Washington State University and lives in Moscow, Idaho; Rebecca (Bruce Zanin), foreign service officer for U.S. Department of Commerce-Beijing; Chris, who owns/operates Balogh Enterprises, based in Yreka, Calif.; and Theresa (Mike Riter), an emergency services dispatcher for the Watertown, S.D., police department.

They have seven grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

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