In Memory of
Pedro (Peter) Balantac Valdez
January 16, 1946–August 11, 2020
Pedro (Peter) Balantac Valdez, of Salem, Oregon, sadly passed away on August 11, 2020 with his wife Joan and youngest daughter Angela by his side and all his children in his heart. He was born on the island of Maui on January 16, 1946 and was one of 11 children. Peter graduated from St. Anthony HS where he played sports, was active in the student government, and was in a barbershop quartet, he had aspirations of joining the priesthood but his calling came elsewhere.
Peter then moved to Oregon and earned a bachelor’s degree from Mt. Angel College. It was in Mt. Angel he started to work with the Community Action Agency where his focus was helping the Latino youth. His success, love of helping others, and being a part of another’s life led him to work in Salem, Oregon with programs such as GROW and Man Power Planning Council which later became the Job’s Council. He then shifted to working with new parents at the YWCA and their teen parent program. Peter’s final move was working for the State of Oregon where he traveled around the state to start programs with the goal of helping people find jobs.
Peter had an appreciation for many things. In his younger years he loved playing tennis; supporting all of his children’s endeavors in sports and music; and often helped with the family paper route on 24th-25th street; waking up early to search for whole sand dollars at the beach. Pepsi (44 oz from 7-11), later changing to Coke and thoroughly enjoyed buffets and going out to dinner (and taking a freezer bag so we “didn’t waste any food”). Later in life, he enjoyed growing Pansies and seeding them so he had more next year. He looked forward to his Saturday nights playing pool with Grandma Leona and his love, Joan. He began using an iPad so he could experience the world a bit more (though he did travel across the country in the 60’s which he always spoke of with an energy of how important that was to him).
He liked picking blueberries and exercising on a stationary bike. Recently, he started a new endeavor to pass out over 2000 “You Have a Great Smile” cards to those he met in the community who smiled at him. Always in life, he loved his family, his children, his grandchildren, and people in general.
Though Peter lived with many health related challenges, there were many things that brought him joy: gardening, having a handkerchief on call, white rice, SPAM (not the emails, the real stuff) and eggs (over easy the right way), a SPAM sandwich, playing the Uke, making sure he would sing Happy Birthday to all on their special day, if you had your birthday and would be at his house definitely expect streamers and a sign on large paper, Kikkoman, giant flashlights and tiny utensils, fried chicken (though his mom made the best grinds), always able to play any instrument by ear, playing pool which started in his youth as his Dad managed a pool hall, and definitely photography which he enjoyed sharing with all family members (Nikon only)… and thermal underwear, which kept him warm after moving to Oregon.
Family dogs were Simba and Daisy. With Simba having a special place in his heart. Now they are back together.
Peter is survived by his wife Joan and his children Mika (Roger), Teya (Chris), Josh (Mel), Jennifer (Awesome) and Angela (Adam), and siblings Sylvia, Suzy, Patricia, Loretta, Barbra, Theresa, Patricia and Michael… He loved his grandkids Eleanora (Ellie), Josiah, Annisa, Noah, Maile, William and Camden. He is preceded in death by his parents Petra, Pedro Sr., and Papa Maxie and his sisters Tanya, Debbie, and brother Patrick.
Peter’s family is deeply saddened by his passing and will miss those happy birthday songs and signs; his unconditional love, seeing the happiness brought to him by his grandkids. He was a creator, a facilitator, and definitely a lover of the beauty of life, and that is something we need always and forever. With Peter… It was family… No matter what… ‘Ohana. You are missed and loved.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Peter’s name to the Willamette Humane Society.