Claude J. Balestra,68, of Fort Wayne, IN passed away on April 16, 2023, surrounded by family at Lutheran Hospital. Claude was born on September 3, 1954, in Havana, Cuba. His formative years were spent across multiple countries in Europe and South America. He made his home in Fort Wayne in 1973 and began his 44 year-long career at Fort Wayne Metals, starting on the production line and working his way up to a senior position as Global Business Director. He loved his time traveling and found a second family with his colleagues at FWM. Claude completed his bachelor’s degree at IPFW and received his Master's degree from Indiana Wesleyan. Claude loved strong coffee and good wine, hosting dinners with his family, telling countless stories from his travels, and cherished watching his grand-puppy Layla on weekends in his later years. He is survived by his wife Cindy (Costello), two children Alexander (Alixandra) and Elizabeth.
Sisters Melba (Moe) Shokrai of VA, Liliane Carroll of Fort Wayne, father-in-law Joseph Costello, sister-in-law Molly (Mark) McCrory, and brother-in-law Patrick (Valerie) Costello, 3 nieces, 3 nephews, 1 great-niece and 1 great-nephew. Claude was preceded in death by his parents Claude Sr. and Georgina, brother-in-law James Carroll, and mother-in-law Kathleen Costello. Visitation will be Friday, April 21, 2023, from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Divine Mercy Funeral Home, 3500 Lake Ave., Fort Wayne. A Mass of Christian Resurrection will be held at a later date. Memorials to Allen County ASPCA or Masses. To sign the online guest book, go to www.divinemercyfuneralhome.com.