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In Memoriam

Leonor Marcella (Chillie) Pace

Jan 25, 2023

Leonor Marcella (Chillie) Pace

Our mother passed away peacefully on January 25th at the age of 93 at the home of our sister, Cecilia, in Chico, California.  She was a tiny woman, but a tower of strength and role model to the big family she raised.  She is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Bobby E. Pace of Wasilla, Alaska; her oldest child, Maria Sauer of Fairbanks, Alaska; her brother Luis Balmaceda, her sister, Carmen Balmaceda, and her parents, José Casimiro Balmaceda Barahona and Lilia Raquel Dumanoir all of Colón, Panama.  She is survived by her brother, Jose Casimiro Balmaceda Dumanoir of Panama City, Panama, her sister, Inés Balmaceda Dumanoir of Isabela, Puerto Rico and many, many nieces and nephews.  She leaves behind her children, Lily Eskelsen and Alberto Garcia of El Paso, Texas; Cecilia Pace of Chico, California; Denise and Bryan McDougal of Salt Lake City, Utah; Bobby and Susan Pace of Fairbanks, Alaska; and Joseph Pace of Lake Waukomis, Missouri.  We gave our mother 18 grandchildren who gave her 30 great grandchildren, and they all loved their Grandma Chillie.

She was born on August 6, 1929, in Panama where she met the love of her life whom she always called “my Bobby”, a young soldier from Mississippi stationed on the Canal Zone.  They raised six proud “Army brats” traveling from fort to fort.  She was an amazing cook, loved sewing, volunteered at our school events, and merged her wonderful sense of style with a practical sense of thrift.  She hunted bargains at second-hand stores and always looked like a million bucks.  She loved to tell jokes, but we laughed hardest when she forgot the punchline.  She also created family through her many friends from church and charity work.  Our friends became her friends.  And she loved her girlfriends at her Healthy Steps exercise class which she continued into her 90s even when COVID forced them to meet on Zoom.

She’s with Dad now and will forever be our guardian angel.

Friends and family are invited to gather to remember Grandma Chillie on Saturday, January 28 at 1pm at the home of Sue Schlect Nelson, 19 Windridge, Yankee Hill, California.

A funeral mass will be held in celebration of her life at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fairbanks, Alaska in March.  We’ll update this notice as details become available.

According to her wishes, she will be cremated and laid to rest with our Dad.  Interment services will be held this summer on her 94th birthday, August 6th, at Ft. Richardson National Cemetery, near Anchorage, Alaska. There will be a Celebration of Life service near that time at the home of Bobby and Susan Pace in Fairbanks with details to follow.

In lieu of flowers, mom asked that gifts be considered for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.