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Russell V. Baltis, Jr. (Rusty), 85, died March 8, 2014, after a brief ill- ness, surrounded by family. He was born in Kansas City to Louise and Rusty Baltis and they were all proud to be lifelong KC residents. Rusty graduated from Southwest High School class of '45 and recently gave the invocation at their latest reun- ion. He graduated University of Kan- sas where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta with a degree in archi- tecture. He served in the Army and for two years used his engineering expertise in surveying landing strips in England and Scotland. Following his service, he returned to Kansas City with his wife, Donna, and started his young family. The couple had three sons, Russ, Bo and David. He built houses with his father, then joined Stanton Construction Co. In 1960, he joined Commerce Bank and was Developmental Property Man- ager of the Commerce Tower. He later became General Manager of North Kansas City Development where he guided significant com- mercial and industrial development. He spent the rest of his career in commercial real estate, retiring from Tower Properties in 1993. That is what Rusty did. That's not what Rusty was. He was an Eagle Scout (Tribe of Mic-O-Say), as was his father, the youngest Eagle Scout to achieve that rank in March, 1917. They both were very proud of those achieve- ments, which instilled values in them that made each an exceptional man. Rusty was always a gregarious, life-of-the-party, daring, sometimes naughty, leader of the pack with a witty, dry sense of humor and a way of looking at things that assured one that "everything was gonna be all right," or "it's not the end of the world." He was a man who had a before and after story of his life. Rusty was an alcoholic who took his last drink on April 23, 1976. From that point on he made it his mission to help other alcoholics help themselves. He spon- sored and counseled literally 100's of people in need. He will be lovingly remembered for decades to come for his efforts and dedication to the Twelve Step Program. And AA gave a lot back to Rusty as well. He made some of the closest bonds possible among fellow members. It should be noted that when he died, his AA coin rested in his palm. In 2007, Rusty married the love of his life, Jane Ann Breuer, who sur- vives him. He is also survived by his three sons, Russ (George Kahn), Bo (JoAnne) and David (Mary). Services will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, March 15 at Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Park- way, K.C., MO. Reception following in Social Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial dona- tions may be made to the Church, where he was a lifelong member, or First Call/ NCADD, 9091 State Line, K.C. MO 64114. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.CremationCenterKC.com Cremation Center of Kansas City, 913-384-5566,
Published in Kansas City Star from Mar. 12 to Mar. 13, 2014
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