BRISTOL - Walter Balch of Bristol passed from this life at his home on May 17, 2012, at 71 years of age.
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After earlier years at Brandon Training School and Waterbury State Hospital, Walter was fortunate to participate in the Vermont Developmental Home Program and began living the rest of his life with Robert Stetzenmeyer in 1987. They shared a home in Bristol, where Walter's challenging and charming personality was allowed to ameliorate and flourish. He anticipated and desired daily road trips for errands and shopping where his special movements, sounds and character were noticed but accepted by so many kind people.
He is survived by his brother, Harmond Jr. of Rutland; special cousins, Bob and Bette Parker of Rutland; and many other loving extended family members of the Smith and Balch family. He was predeceased by his father, Harmond Balch Sr., and mother Edith Smith Blach of West Rutland, Vt.
His committal service will be held at the family plot in East Clarendon Cemetery, with the Rev. Robert Boutwell officiating.
Robert Stetzenmeyer and the extended family wish to thank so many people who accepted Walter into their lives. His friend, Jane Browe and husband Ed of Proctor, provided many years of loving respite. Most holidays and special occasions were shared with Jim, Carol, Todd, Ainaka and Erin Marnock in Lincoln. His circle of friends then extended to so many others past Lincoln and Bristol to include his favorite stores, Shaw's and the Dollar Store in Middlebury. Thanks also to Jim Keating and Specialized Community Care for helping make the friendly lifestyle possible. Praise also to his superb healthcare providers at Mountain Health Center in Bristol, Porter Hospital and the Bristol Rescue Squad for years of kind and quality assistance.
Published in Rutland Herald on May 25, 2012