Harold "Hal" Balin departed on his final flight heading for the last roundup of his life. Hal passed peacefully of natural causes on his boat with wife Nancy and dog Julie, Monday Aug. 27, 2012 in Anacortes, Wash. Harold Edward (Hesser) Balin was born March 9, 1931 in Los Angles County, Calif., to Edward A Hesser and Ethel Belle Young. After the death of this father in 1934 at an early age, Hal and his mother moved from New Mexico to Klamath Falls. Ethel married Otto Balin, a prominent rancher. Hal was adopted by Otto and the family resided on the current Balin Ranch on Homedale Road.
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Hal attended Henley High School, graduating in 1949 as an accomplished athlete. He moved to Corvallis where he attended what was then Oregon State College, graduating in 1953 with a degree in Agriculture Engineering. Harold was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity and the Air Force Reserve Officer's Training Corps. Upon graduation he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the United States Air Force, stationed at Kirkland Air force Base, New Mexico. He completed his pilot training and flew at Eniwetok Atoll, in the Marshall Islands. After retiring from the Air force in 1957 Hal became a pilot for Northwest Airlines for 34 years retiring as Captain, flying many aircraft including DC-3s Boeing 707s, 747s and the DC-10. He retired from commercial flight in 1991, yet continued his love of flying up to his death in his favorite Beechcraft Bonanza.
While in college, Hal met and married Joan Louise Paine (Staunton). They married in 1954 in Junction City, Ore. During their marriage they had 3 children, Deborah (Debbie), Kirk, and Scott Balin. On September 9, 1991 Hal married Nancy McManus from Sacramento, Calif.
Hal was preceded in death by his father Edward Hesser, mother Ethel Balin, and stepfather Otto Balin.
Hal is survived by his wife Nancy Balin. Other survivors include: Daughter Debbie Heim (Balin) and husband Brian of Albany, Ore., son Kirk Balin, Seattle Wash., and son Scott Balin and wife Cindy, Klamath Falls, Ore. Grand children; Kara Buchheit (Heim), Kevin Heim, Janelle Hanni (Balin), Bethany Balin, Joanna Balin, Bryce Balin, Trent Balin and Elise Balin. Great grandchildren Faith, Tyler and Camden Buchheit, Reagan and Evelyn Heim.
Hal loved to fly and though he flew many places around the world during his military and airline career his roots were always planted in the beauty of the Klamath Basin on the family ranch. The Balin ranch was recently recognized as a Century Ranch and will be continued on by son Scott Balin. Hal will be missed by many who loved him and his spirited demeanor. Hal treasured his heritage of ranching and loved to listen to the old cowboy ballads of The Son's of the Pioneers. We know he would say: "So long ole pals its time your tears are dry, I'm heading for the last roundup."
Viewing for family and friends will be Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at O'Hair Funeral Chapel. Services will be Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at 11 a.m. at Peace Memorial Church, Klamath Falls Ore., followed by burial at Mt Laki.
Cemetery with military honors and a "Missing Man" fly over. A celebration of his life will follow. Contributions in memory of Harold Balin may be made to the
Published in Herald And News on Sept. 4, 2012