John Edward "Ed" Balson, 97, a retired Navy commander, passed away Tuesday, May 14, in Los Altos Hills, Calif. with his wife by his side. He was born Oct. 2, 1915, in University City, Mo., the son of the late Lewis Edward Balson and Ethel Ringwalt Balson.
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He was the beloved husband of Miriam "Dimpy" Currie Miller Balson, with whom he recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. They met on a blind date in August 1947 in Newport, R.I., while Ed was attending the Naval Postgraduate School, and were married in the Naval Hospital Chapel on May 8, 1948.
He leaves four children, William Edward Balson of Los Altos Hills, Calif., Miriam "Penny" Milsom of Reisterstown, Md., Carolie "Bunny" McLaughlin of Sandwich, Mass., and Stephanie Hensel of Denver, Colo.; 11 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Ed was preceded in death by his brother, William Balson; his sisters, Lois Hellwege and Helen Schultz; and his grandson, Brock Hensel.
While studying architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, World War II began and he volunteered for submarine service in the U.S. Navy. He valiantly served our country during both World War II and the Korean War. During WWII, he was the executive officer of the USS Segundo (SS-398) and served on all five of the sub's war patrols. He led a six-man party responsible for boarding the Japanese submarine, the top secret, I-401, in Tokyo Bay at the end of WWII. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts.
After the war, he earned his Masters in Engineering Degree at the Naval Postgraduate School. He served as captain of the USS Sea Cat and engineering officer of the USS Antietam.
In 1960, after 20 years of outstanding military service, he retired as a commander. He began working for Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., and was the guarantee engineer during the building of the submarines USS Lafayette, the USS George Washington and the USS Nathan Hale.
Ed and Miriam retired to Inverness, Fla., in 1984, where they were active members of the Inverness Golf and Country Club. He was a member of the Withlacoochee Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and member of the BPOE Elks of Inverness. He and his wife loved to travel, and took many cruises with friends and family to worldwide locations.
Condolences may be sent to Mrs. J. E. Balson, 26209 Dori Lane, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022.
Published in Citrus County Chronicle on May 22, 2013