Loving wife, devoted mother, doting grandmother, beloved sister, cherished aunt, and caring friend, Gene Lusk Balentine, 65, wife of C. Ray Balentine, died on Friday, August 9, 2019 at the Hospice House in Greenwood, SC. Born on September 30, 1953, Gene grew up in Honea Path, SC and Greenwood, the third daughter of the late G. Dearyl and Patricia Holland Lusk. Gene was predeceased by her son, Trevor Hughes Balentine, and her nephew, Jackson Trevor Lusk.
Gene found constant joy in the children in her life. As a ten-year-old big sister, she was a second mama to her baby brother, often nudging his other sisters out of the way to hold him. Gene stands out in every family picture because she is always holding a child, whether her own, a niece or nephew, or a treasured young neighbor. She served at the Bowers-Rodgers Children’s Home, and as a leader for the Royal Ambassadors at South Main Street Baptist Church, where she was a member.
Gene demonstrated her independence at an early age, as she was the youngest of her siblings to get a part-time job outside the home. As a young homemaker, she took care of children in her home, and later continued to express her love of children through her work at local schools. Gene’s attention to detail and organizational skills made her an integral part of Ray’s home services business.
Gene continued her education as an adult, earning two associate degrees and a professional secretarial certification to further her career.
In addition to Ray, Gene is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Alice Balentine; her grandson, Gryphon Ray Balentine; her siblings and their spouses, Leslie Lusk Hawthorne, of Greenwood, Debra and Gene Hodges, of Rock Hill, SC, Leigh and Al Gambrell, of Greenwood, and Patrick and Jane Lusk of West Chester, PA. Other surviving family members include nine nieces and nephews and their children. Other than her God, Gene’s greatest love was her family.
Visitation will be at the Connecting Place at South Main Street Baptist Church on Monday, August 12, at 10:30 a.m. A service to celebrate her life will follow visitation at the same location at 12:00 noon, led by Dr. Toby Frost and Rev. Jennifer McClung Rygg. The family is at the home. Parker-White Funeral Home, Ware Shoals, SC is assisting the Balentine family.
Memorials may be made to Ronald McDonald House Charities Columbia, SC
2901 Colonial Drive, Columbia, SC 29203, Hospice and Palliative Care of the Piedmont, 408 W. Alexander Ave., Greenwood, SC 29646, or South Main Street Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1093, Greenwood, SC 29648.