RICHARD J. BALKA
Richard J. Balka, age 81, passed away peacefully on December 16, 2012. He is survived by his loving wife and caregiver of 52 years, Norbertine. He was born in East Chicago, IN on October 24, 1931. Richard is survived by his loving children: Carolyn (Richard) Timko of St. Charles, IL and Kathleen (Frank) Lind of Boca Raton, FL; loving grandchildren: Julia, John, Kristen, Emma, and Anna; brother, Edmund (Sue); sister, Theresa Revere; sisters-in-law: Rosemary Balka, Lorraine Balka, and Dorothy Wisniewski; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Preceded in death by parents; brothers: Joseph, Walter, Edward, John, Stanley, Marion, Raymond, and Stanley Wisniewski; and sister, Jenny Obolewicz. Also survived by brothers-in-law: Robert Michalak and Greg (Nancy) Michalak. Visitation will be from 4:00-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at Solan Pruzin Funeral Home
, 14 Kennedy Ave. (corner of Main and Kennedy), Schererville. American Legion service Thursday at 6:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Hammond at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 21, 2012. Cremation to follow. He will lie in state at the church from 10:00 a.m. until time of service. Burial private at Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City, IL. Richard was a veteran of the Korean Conflict
and served with the United States Marine Corps
. He was a graduate of Washington High School and also Purdue University
Calumet. Richard was a retiree of Inland Steel with 30 years of service. He was an active member of the American Legion Post 369. Richard served on the following offices: Sergeant At Arms, 2nd Vice Commander, Post Commander, youngest commander ever elected since post was organized, 1st District Vice Commander, 1st District Adjutant, Organized Past Commanders Club, Past President of Building Board, Editor of Legion Newsletter for many many years, also presented with the Americanism Award and Legionnaire of the Year. He was a die hard fan of Notre Dame and the Bears. Richard would rather be fishing for perch or walleye than cutting the grass or cleaning the garage. He loved the outdoors, nature, birds, and everything that God created. He really took care of his hummingbirds. Richard had a great sense of humor that most people did not know about. He always found good in everybody. He was devoted to his family. Sundays were family days spent with his three favorite girls going off to explore different little cities, picking grapes, apples, and blueberries, and then having a nice dinner together. He enjoyed going to downtown Chicago and it was always a new adventure. Richard loved the theatre plays, the museum campus, restaurants, and the boat rides down the river, and everything great about the city. He just loved life. Semper Fi. Memorials may be made to Blue Skies Hospice. God looked around in his garden and he found an empty place. Then looked down upon this earth and saw your tired face. He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest. God's garden must be beautiful because he only takes the best. He knew that you were suffering. He knew you were in pain. He knew that you would never get well on earth again. He saw the road as it was getting rough and the hills were hard to climb. So he closed your weary eyelids and whispered peace be with you. It broke our hearts to lose you, but you did not go alone. For a part of us went with you, the day God called you home.