We Remember


July 27, 1928 — December 29, 2020

Otilia Hentz Balatoni (née Zlamalova) passed away peacefully of a heart attack on December 29, 2020 at the age of 92.

Otilia is survived by her son Peter Hentz (Gloria); daughter Tana Rotkovska (Karl); and granddaughters Sylvia Hentz and Wanda Rotkovska.

Otilia was a unique person of our times. Born to Albin Zlamal and Elizabeth Krajniak in 1928 in Kosice, Czechoslovakia, she witnessed the Nazi occupation of her country, followed by the bombs dropped by Soviet Russia.

Otilia’s early years granted her a legacy of love of the classical arts, nature, animals, philosophy, European history, biographies, geology, and caving. To her children, she emulated a love of hiking through the woods and picking mushrooms. She maintained her interest in classical music, European politics and fluency in five foreign languages until her passing.

Otilia obtained her Costume Design, Nursing (Midwifery specialty) and Esthetics certificates in Czechoslovakia, where she worked as a Costume Coordinator in live theatre and on film sets in Bratislava.

Otilia came to Canada in 1975, and made Kelowna, BC her home. After completing the BC Certification exam in Cosmetology, Otilia opened her own esthetics salon (behind Haworths’s Jewellers) in 1978, and continued to do pedicures for friends until her late 80’s.

Otilia was intelligent, clever, friendly, thrifty, tolerant, non-materialistic, hardworking, and an amazing storyteller. A shining example of kindness and generosity, she had the most gentle of hearts and selfless spirit; yet, she also possessed an inner courage, toughness, and resilience coupled with a well-developed sense of humour.

A natural “healer”, Otilia wove her knowledge of homeopathy into her practice of esthetics. She loved her work and her clients; many of her former customers whose lives she deeply touched continued to visit her in their latter years simply to bask in the sunshine of her smile and loving presence, and listen to her intriguing stories and life lessons, while enjoying a soothing pedicure.

In addition to practicing esthetics, Otilia found time to provide restorative care for those who were recovering from surgeries or who were debilitated by medical conditions. No situation was too daunting for Otilia! Many of us were beneficiaries of her expert care.

Otilia unabashedly attributed her survival of harrowing experiences in Czechoslovakia and challenging times in Kelowna to her unwavering faith in God. She enjoyed attending Trinity Church’s English and Hungarian services. Special thanks to Eve and Brian Carlson who made Otilia feel so cared for at Trinity.

Otilia was grateful for the simple pleasures of life. She considered her suite in The Village at Mill Creek to be “her castle”; she loved the staff, the residents, the food, her room and the squirrel in the tree outside her window. We are sorry she experienced only a short thirty-seven days in the home she called “her little paradise” before her passing.

We so loved Otilia, and knew she loved us. Personifying healing sunshine, she influenced many for good. She will be sorely missed.

Otilia requested that there be no funeral. A memorial bench will be installed in Otilia’s honour this Spring in Otilia’s beloved Knox Mountain Park.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

Share with Others:

Share on Facebook
Share Via Email