Balch, E. John 87, of Du Quoin, passed away at 9:39 A.M., Thursday, August 15, 2013 at his home with his loving wife and family by his side. He was born July 25, 1926 in St. Louis, MO to Daniel and Marie (Lang) Balch. He served in the United States Navy during World War II on the troop transport ship the USS General CC Ballou that made several trips around the world dropping off and later picking up service members of the military campaigns going on in various parts of the world. He spoke of his many trips through the Panama Canal and Suez Canal, and the various overseas ports he visited throughout the world. He married Esther Kramm on September 13, 1952 at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Radom, IL. They welcomed two children, Ronald Edward and Diane Lynn. He attended Washington University in St. Louis. He worked at Country Set, a woman's sports garment factory in St. Louis. He later transferred to Country Set in Du Quoin as the cutting room supervisor and comanager until the closing of that plant. He finished his career at Menard Prison in Chester as a knit room supervisor. He was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Du Quoin, a 4th Degree Knight serving one term as Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus Council, and a member of the American Legion and V.F.W. He enjoyed serving as Cub and Scout master for his son's troops in St. Louis. He enjoyed building several houses with his son Ron. He and Esther loved going on their yearly winter motorhome trips to the Red Oaks Campground in Bushnell, FL. They planted a huge garden every summer and loved spending time with family and friends. He and Esther shared 60 years of marriage and endeared themselves to their family, friends, church and community with their genuine kindness and positive attitude about life. He is survived by his wife Esther; son Ron (Jeanna) Balch of Murphysboro, IL, one sister Celeste (Joe) Dillon of St. Louis, MO; three brothers Tom Balch, Jimmy (Ursula) Balch, and David (Carol) Balch, all of St. Louis, MO, grandchildren È Mark (Jenny), Eric (Jayne) of Omaha, NE, and Allison (Ginseng) Mileur of Maui, HI, great grandchildren Madelyn, John, Andrew, Gretchen, Mariella, Sawyer, and Lilianne Balch of Omaha, NE; and many nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his parents, daughter Diane, sister Delores Stussie and brothers Dan, Roy, and Jerry Balch. John will be dearly missed by his wife, family and friends. Services: Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 A.M., Monday, August 19, 2013 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Du Quoin with Fr. Nick Junker and Fr. Joseph Oganda officiating. Friends may call from 4 to 7 P.M., Sunday at the Searby Funeral Home in Du Quoin. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 P.M., Sunday at the Searby Funeral Home in Du Quoin. Burial will be in the Sacred Heart Cemetery at Du Quoin. Military graveside rites will be conducted by the Du Quoin V.F.W. and American Legion and the United States Navy. Friends may make memorials to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Du Quoin or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and will be accepted at the funeral home. For additional information or to sign the memorial guest register, please visit www.searbyfuneralhomes.com.
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Searby Funeral Homes Ltd
130 S Washington St
Du Quoin, IL 62832
Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Aug. 18, 2013