Ed Baloian, patriarch of Baloian Farms died surrounded by family Aug. 2. He was 92, and despite health problems over the last few years, Mr. Baloian was a constant presence at the office every day until the last few weeks.
A second-generation farmer and the son of an Armenian immigrant, Mr. Baloian understood the value of hard work from an early age when he worked side-by-side with his father growing and distributing fruit and vegetables throughout the Fresno, CA, area.
He served in the military during World War II and returned home to Fresno to continue growing his family and his business. The first family business was the Charles Baloian Co., a wholesale distribution company that he owned with his father and brother.
With a passion for the industry, Mr. Baloian had a vision for greater representation in the farming industry and in 1965 he created Pam-Pak Distributors to represent grower products throughout the United States and Canada. During this same time, he also started growing more products of his own. As part of that original vision, in 1986 Mr. Baloian and his son Tim started Baloian Farms and together have grown it into one of the larger pepper and vegetable production companies on the West Coast.
Mr. Baloian was a faithful member of the People’s Church in Fresno, and an active member of the Northwest Fresno Rotary. He was known for his generosity in all that he did — both financially and with his time — and he made sure that everything he supported, he fully committed to.
“My dad had an enthusiasm for life and a respect for people that he instilled in us as a family and within our business," Tim Baloian, current president of Baloian Farms, said in a press release. "Our business is an extension of his passion — the idea of doing something good and meaningful that helps others is what farming is about — we grow healthy food that helps people. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work side-by-side with a man rooted in faith that showed me through his actions, the importance of honesty, hard work and generosity.”
Although Mr. Baloian would not expect any awards or accolades, his family, peers and employees all reflect that his crowning achievement is his family that carries on his vision in the company he built. A family friend and past employee said it best, “If I could use one word to describe Ed, it would be genuine. This humble man did things because he cared. To see his beaming smile when he shared his history, his beliefs, or his family was contagious. He was a man who looked you in the eye, told you what he thought and would always stand by your side if you asked.”
Visitation will be held at Whitehurst, Sullivan, Burns & Blair Funeral Home on Aug. 8 from 4-7 p.m., and a memorial service will be held at G.L. Johnson Chapel at the People’s Church on Aug. 9 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Fresno Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 1422, Fresno, CA, 93716-1422 or Seeds in His Garden, P.O. Box 919, Seaside, CA, 93955.