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Sarah "Sally" Ann Balkema passed away at Christus Santa Rosa hospital on January 30, 2013. She was born in Detroit, Michigan on April 9, 1935 to Robert Balkema and Helen Goeschel. Sally had lived in New Braunfels, Texas for over 35 years.
Sally received her undergraduate degree from St. Louis University and her Masters' Degree in Nursing from the University of Washington. She served in the U.S. Army for 20 years and retired as Lieutenant Colonel. Lt. Col (Ret.) Balkema's specialty was pediatric nursing, she also served in Vietnam (where she was awarded the Bronze Star), and she taught at Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing.
After retirement, Sally continued to help others by working with H&R Block preparing tax returns for her faithful clients. She also became active as a foster mom and a board member with Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue. Everyone was always welcome in Sally's home where she mentored many and was a friend to all. Sally will always be known for her heart.
She loved to travel and experience good people and good food in places like Germany, Alaska, Michigan, British Isles, Mexico, Louisiana, and wherever her van might travel. Having been taught to hunt by her father, Sally continued that passion around the world up until the last years of her life.
Sally was predeceased by her father, mother, and life partner of more than 25 years (Joan Cotter). She is survived by three cousins: Ruth (Ryan) and Terry McInerney, Helen (Ryan) and Lyle Davis, Thomas and Carol Ryan, and Colleen (Ryan) and Ken Anderson; godchild Erin Bouthillier (William); and godgrandchildren Sarah (Sally's namesake) and Helen Bouthillier; numerous friends; and her two furkids (Finnigan and Bella).
A Memorial Fund has been established in Sally's name at Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue, P.O. Box 7054, Carmel, CA 93921; www.luckystarcavalierrescue.org.
A celebration of Sally's life will be held at home in New Braunfels on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1 p.m. All who loved her are welcome.
Published in Express-News on Feb. 9, 2013