William H. Balter

William H. Balter, a most gracious and noble man, died peacefully in his sleep Sunday, Oct. 20. He turned 96 1/2 the same day. He lived so long, because he had an amazing spirit and an ability to sprinkle humor into any situation. Willie, as he was known as a child, was born April 20, 1906, in Cherry Valley, PA, third son of Joseph and Ida Balter. He was smart, and early in life, seemed to be in a hurry. He skipped three grades and graduated from Braddock High School and the University of Pittsburgh, going on to become one of the youngest people ever to graduate from University of Pittsburgh Law School. He began practicing law in the Depression years, arguing a case before the United States Supreme Court. Shortly thereafter, he joined the family business, Jaison's clothing stores. In its modern heyday, Jaison's included seven stores in McKeesport, Braddock, Monroeville, Southland and Greengate Mall. Mr. W., as he was called at Jaison's, was popular with customers, who stopped by as often to hear a quip as to pick up a pair of shoes or a dress. Mr. Balter married Alma, the girl of his dreams, as he called her, in 1945, and they lived in Squirrel Hill where they raised three children, Robert, Margie and Joni. Mr. Balter was a member of the McKeesport Chamber of Commerce and a trustee of the Peters Foundation of McKeesport. He was a great golfer and was often spotted in his brightly colored golf outfits at Westmoreland Country Club. He played a steady game until his 90s. He was also a member of Concordia Club. Mr. Balter was an original, a selfless individual with the kind of wit that could loosen up a roomful of stuffy people. He and the former Alma Simon were married 57 years. He is also survived by his three children, grandchildren, Meredith, Sophie and Casey, and brother, Henry. Services will be held Friday, Oct. 25 at Rodef Shalom Temple, where he was a longtime member; receiving at 12 noon, service at 1 pm. The family suggests remembrances to Rodef Shalom Temple and Temple B'nai Israel of White Oak. Arrangements by BURTON L. HIRSCH FUNERAL HOME, INC., 412-521-2600
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Funeral Home

Burton L. Hirsch Funeral Home, Inc.
2704 Murray Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 521-2600

Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Oct. 24, 2002