WASHINGTON, D.C., November 28, 2011 — Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams is saddened to confirm the death of Peace Corps volunteer Emily Balog on Nov. 27, 2011. Emily, 26, was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay and died of a fatal injury from an automobile accident.
“Emily was a beloved volunteer who used her passion for people and art to work with a local women’s cooperative and youth in her community,” said Director Williams. “The entire Peace Corps community mourns the loss of such an incredible volunteer. Our thoughts are with Emily’s family, host family, friends and community.”
Emily, a native of Burlington, N.C., arrived in Paraguay in June 2010 and was sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer in August 2010. She served as a community development volunteer where she worked with a local women’s cooperative to improve business practices, improve sales and market local goods.
As a secondary project, Emily also worked with her community to incorporate art, photography and painting into daily life. She recently worked with other Peace Corps volunteers to sponsor a photography competition for local youth in the community. Emily was expected to close her Peace Corps service in August 2012.
Emily is a 2007 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received a B.A. in journalism. She is survived by family in North Carolina.
Emily Susan Balog, 26, of 4112 Gilchrist Drive, Burlington, died suddenly Sunday, November 27, 2011, in an automobile accident in Paraguay, where she was serving in the Peace Corps. The love of Emily’s life, Santiago Fernandez, was critically injured in the accident. Emily’s family requests your prayers for Santiago and his family.
Emily is survived by her parents, Steve and Susan Balog; her brother, Alan, and his wife, Lindsay; her grandmother, Doris Balog; her uncle, Dr. Tom Blackwell, and his wife, Deborah, of Greensboro, NC; her cousins, Charlie Blackwell of Greensboro and Scott Blackwell, of Hilton Head, S.C.; her uncle, Michael C. Balog, and wife, Anne, of Katy, Texas; and cousins, Charles (Chuck) Balog, and wife, Sarah, of Marietta, Georgia, and Kate Balog Stoneham, and husband, Jon, of Katy, Texas. Emily was predeceased by her beloved grandparents, Charles (Chuck) Balog and Claude and Maxine Blackwell.
Emily was a graduate of Williams High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a Tar Heel through and through, especially a fan of Tar Heel basketball. She was particularly thrilled by the national championship in men’s basketball in 2005. She enjoyed watching the championship game in Florence, Italy, while studying abroad.
Emily began her service in the Peace Corp on June 1, 2010 in Paraguay, South America. She was passionate about service to others. She received the Gold Award in Girl Scouting and the Scholastic Art Award as a sophomore in high school. Emily was a member of First Reformed United Church of Christ where she sang in the adult choir and learned about service to others in need. Emily was a political activist for the Democratic party, an avid reader, and a wonderful cook for her family and friends. Prior to her position in the Peace Corps, Emily was employed by Southern Progress in Birmingham, Alabama, for Southern Living Magazine as a graphic artist and later in Raleigh.
The funeral was held on at 2:00 pm Saturday, December 3, 2011 at First Reformed United Church of Christ with Reverend F. Michael Hooper of Lexington, N.C. officiating.
Emily’s family asks you to continue her love of service to others.
A fund has been established in Emily’s honor. All donations to the Emily Balog Memorial Fund will support approved Peace Corps Partnership Program projects in Paraguay.