Lt. Col. Donald G. Balish, USAF (Ret), 79, of Highlands Ranch, Colo., passed away at home on April 9, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Maureen McAndrew Balish. Donald was a loving husband, father and grandfather, and a trusted friend.
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Born Feb. 22, 1935, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Donald graduated from the Scranton Preparatory School in 1952 and attended the University of Scranton. He obtained his BSEE from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1963, where he was inducted into the engineering honor societies Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu. He was awarded his MSEE from Stanford University in 1967.
Donald entered the U.S. Air Force as an Aviation Cadet in 1955, was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in 1956 and retired as a Lt. Col. after 23 years of service. His military career included time as a navigator/bombardier with the Strategic Air Command at Schilling Air Force Base in Salina, Kansas, a position as Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and time served with Special Ops in Vietnam. Among other distinctions received, Donald was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal for Meritorious Achievement (three times) and the Air Force Commendation Medal. His civilian career followed as an engineer with Lockheed Martin. Donald also served as a chairman of the Highlands Ranch Metro District Board. He was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Air Force Association, the Retired Officers Association, the 310th Bomb Wing Veterans Historical Association and the Knights of Columbus.
Also surviving are five children: daughter, Elaine of Kenai, Alaska; son, Robert (wife Judy) of Sandia Park, New Mexico; son, Donald (wife Nadia) of Lancaster, California; son, Kenneth (wife Amy) of Fremont, California; son, Christopher of Arlington, Virginia; four grandchildren, Cody Balish, Taylor Balish, 2nd Lt. Margarita Balish, USAF, and Tiffany Yoshioka Caughey; one brother, Col. Warren N. Balish, U.S. Army (Ret), (wife Marilyn) of Reston, Virginia; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Mary Krul Balish; and by his brother, George Balish.
The funeral will be April 26 at 2 p.m. at Horan & McConaty Funeral Service, 5303 E. County Line Road, Centennial, Colorado, 80122. Interment will occur with Full Military Honors in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Donald's name to The Independence Fund for Wounded Veterans at www.indepen
dencefund.org. Please share memories of Donald and condolences with his family at HoranCares.com.
Published in Scranton Times on Apr. 20, 2014