Nicholas John Balaguras

March 17, 1931August 2, 2014
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Nicholas John Balaguras, 83, of Bloomington died Saturday, August 2, 2014 at the Indiana University Health Hospice House. He was born on March 17, 1931 in Gary, Indiana to John N. Balaguras and Merope Tzouvale Balaguras. He was a well-known fixture in the Indiana University community as the owner of Aristotle’s Bookstore (1968 – 1998).

Survivors include his wife, of 51 years, Jean Diann Balaguras of Bloomington; a daughter, Jean Balaguras (Russ Goodman) of Bloomington; two sons, Jeffrey Balaguras (Jin Sun Park) of San Francisco and John Balaguras (Barbara) of Chicago; five grandchildren, Thomas Whitlock, Anne Whitlock, Megan Balaguras, Nicholas Balaguras and Alexander Balaguras; a brother-in-law, Harry Brickley; a sister-in-law, Suzi Brickley; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Esther Allen.

Nicholas (or Nick as he was more commonly known) grew up in a Greek household in Gary, Indiana and Greek was his first language. He worked along side his father in the local steel mills while he was growing up. Nick attended Horace Mann high school, where among many other honors, he was voted best dressed by his class (unanimously).

He attended Indiana University in Bloomington and left to serve in the U.S. Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency during the Korean Conflict. After returning from military service, he worked for the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times newspapers while finishing his degree at Northwestern University.

Nick was a long time member and supporter of the I.U. Foundation and the Varsity Club. He was a former Board Member of The Bloomington Boys Club and the Indiana Retail Council. He also served on the Steering Committee for the Bob Knight Library Endowment Fund.

Nick enjoyed reading, sports, politics and was an avid traveler. He traveled to Europe more then a dozen times with family members where he enjoyed a variety of activities from watching musicals in the West End of London to reconnecting with extended family in his home village of Distimo in Greece.

He will be remembered for his dry sense of humor, generosity and the ability to truly connect with people of all ages and from all corners of the globe. Nick lived a full and beautiful life and was loved by many.

There will be a Memorial Service at Day & Deremiah-Frye Funeral Home, 4150 E 3rd ST., on Saturday August 9, 2014 at 3:00 PM with a reception to follow through 6:00 PM in the funeral home.

There will be a private family burial at the Fairview Cemetery in Bluffton, IN.

If friends so desire, Memorial Contributions may be made to I.U. Health Hospice House, C/O I. U. Health Bloomington Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 1149, Bloomington, IN 47402.

Online condolences may be given at


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

  • Reception

    Saturday, August 9, 2014


Nicholas John Balaguras

have a memory or condolence to add?

Pam Brown

August 27, 2014

My deepest sympathies to Diann and the rest of the Balaguras family. I worked for Nick in the mid-90's and have many fond memories of him. It has been many years since I've been to Bloomington, but never forgot the kindness that Nick and Diann extended to me when I worked for them.

Eric Bomba

August 9, 2014

To the Nicholas J. Balaguras family,
The times we had were times we will never forget. I will never let the vision of Nicks smile leave me. Love and prayers to your family as always. Eric and the Bomba family.

Vicki Trueblood

August 8, 2014

Jean you have been on my mind since I heard about the passing of your father. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you and your family.

Jag and Dina Dattani

August 8, 2014

Dear Diann and the family,

We are sorry for your loss. Nick was a very kind and gentle man and we remember him fondly. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Jag and Dina

Yu Jin Cho

August 7, 2014

Dear Jean, John, Jeff and Diann,

I am deeply saddened and devastated to hear the news of Nick's passing. He has always been like a father to me and has provided so much guidance and support over the many years that I have known him. I am going to miss him and his wonderful sense of humor. He was the person who gave me my first job opportunity out of college and taught me so much about running a business as well as life in general. My thoughts are with all of you and I am truly sorry for your loss. I am going to miss him terribly.

Brian Smith

August 7, 2014

I am Aristotles Class of 1981. I say that because I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work closely with Nick for three years. As I look back on my life I realize how lucky I was to have Nick as a manager, a mentor, and a friend. He taught me that " people come first" and that you can treat your employees well and fairly and they will perform. Working with him at Aristotles was never work. He made it fun......yet was the boss at the same time. My condolences to his great family.

Debbie Carpenter

August 7, 2014

Working at a local bank in Bloomington, I always loved seeing Mr.Balaguras come in the bank. He always made me happier and took time to talk. He made the world a better place. I am so fortunate our paths crossed. I am truly sorry for your loss. Sincerely, Debbie Carpenter

August 7, 2014

To Jean, John, Jeff-- Perry and I are deeply saddened to hear of the death of your father. The Poet Sophocles once wrote, " One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been. Your father was a splendid man, we are lucky to have known him. I am sorry we are out of town, but our thoughts are with the family. Mae and Perry Sampanis

Robin Stryker

August 7, 2014

Dear Jean, John, Jeff and Diann --

Let me try this again -- for some reason my name got submitted but not the note I wrote you earlier today.

I just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you in these days of loss. I was so sorry to hear that Nick had passed. I'm glad, however, that we Strykers got to spend some time with him recently on the occasion of Dad's 90th. Thank you so much, Jeannie, for making sure that he could join us, and that you could join us as well.

I have many wonderful memories of Nick -- and of all of you as our very dear neighbors for all those years. I don't know if you knew or remember that your Dad hired me to work at Aristotles the summer after I graduated from college and before I started graduate school. He was incredibly patient with me every time that I complained that the Telex (yes -- it was ancient times) would not cooperate with me. And he showed great forbearance not to yell at me when he found me reading the books that were already there instead of working the Telex to order the new books that needed to arrive to stock the shelves before fall classes started at IU.

Nick will be sorely missed.

Rick Lippke

August 6, 2014

We were Nick's neighbors--the house in back of his probably known to you as the old Stryker house. We are going to be out of town Saturday, or I'd come to the visitation. I enjoyed getting to know Nick. He had a great sense of humor and was always kind and helpful. I'll miss seeing him riding around on the old Snapper lawn tractor. He told me that you (his kids) wanted to buy him a new one. But he said he told you "no, it's going down with me!" He laughed and I laughed along with him. I've told that story to a number of other neighbors to give them some sense of his personality. Please accept my family's sincere condolences.