Lorenzo Cabasal Baluyut Jr., known affectionately as Jun to his family, passed away on Monday, January 18, 2021, at the age of 83. He died of complications from COVID-19 at Fairfield Medical Center.
Just recently a resident of Lancaster, Jun's story began half a world away. He was born on October 23, 1937, in the town of Hagonoy in the province of Bulacan, Philippines. The son of a pharmacist and a law school professor, Jun often told stories of his resourceful childhood: how he made toothpicks into soldiers and crumpled a blanket into battle terrain; how his siblings went to the movies with money for just one ticket and designated his older sister to watch and retell the film.
After his family moved to Quezon City in Metro Manila, Jun graduated as salutatorian from Kamuning Elementary School in 1951. In 1955 he graduated from the University of the Philippines High School and enrolled in the U.P. College of Fine Arts, where he fell in love with fellow student Amor Laus. They were wed at the Church of the Risen Lord on the U.P. campus on May 28, 1961, and went on to enjoy 59 years of loving marriage.
Jun became the layout artist and later art director for the Weekly Graphic (also known as Kislap-Graphic), a magazine of literature, politics, and movies, while Amor worked her way up the ranks in an advertising agency. He later worked as the office manager of EGL Enterprises, a family-run appliance store. Jun and Amor had a son, Jason, in 1973, and moved to the United States in 1989. They settled in Michigan, first in Bloomfield Hills and then in Southfield, where Jun supported his family as an administrative assistant for Ennis Center for Children, a foster care agency. After his retirement in 2011, Jun and Amor lived for several years in Glendale, California before moving to Lancaster in 2020.
Jun combined his many creative talents and interests with his devotion to his family. He put together countless mixtapes — and custom-designed their cassette sleeves — to play on family car rides; his musical taste ranged widely from the Beatles to Broadway musicals to Filipino folk-rock to what he called "malungkot na boogie" (sad songs with bass-heavy beats). He threw himself into projects supporting his son’s high school — creating newsletters, curating photo exhibits, compiling soundtracks for pep rallies. He adored his granddaughter Sofia and gave her T-shirts with his hand-lettered designs. In addition, he was a fan of basketball, a political news junkie, a devotee of crossword puzzles, a teller of jokes and puns, and an avid reader of humorous books on bad English.
Jun was well-loved for his easygoing demeanor, his wry sense of humor, and his gentle teasing — always with a loving twinkle in his eye. He was generous, kind-hearted, and a loyal friend. Many of his relatives will fondly remember “Uncle Jun” for lifting spirits at family gatherings and being part of the fabric of their childhood. He will live on in the hearts of all those whose lives he touched with his grace, humor, and love.
Jun was preceded in death by his father Lorenzo Baluyut Sr., mother Ursula Baluyut, and siblings Amelia Aguila and Jaime Baluyut. He is survived by his wife, Amor Laus Baluyut, in Lancaster; son Jason Baluyut, daughter-in-law Michelle Misner, and granddaughter Sofia Misner Baluyut, in Brooklyn; siblings Leticia Bautista in Kansas and Oscar Baluyut in Las Vegas; in-laws Agnes Laus in Lancaster, Ruele Laus in Columbus, Angelita Baluyut in Las Vegas, Victor and Angelica Laus in California, and David Aguila and Lou Baluyut in Quezon City; and many beloved nephews, nieces, and cousins in the Philippines, the United States, and Finland.
Due to the pandemic, there will be no in-person memorial service at this time. A private virtual memorial for family members will be held at a future date. To honor Jun’s memory, the family suggests playing songs by his favorite band, the Beatles, and doing one’s best to live up to their timeless lyrics: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Caring Cremation™ has taken place through the Frank E. Smith Funeral Home. Online condolences can be made at www.funeralhome.com
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