DU QUOIN - E. John Balch, 87, of Du Quoin, passed away at 9:39 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, at his home with his loving wife and family by his side.
He was born July 25, 1926, in St. Louis, Mo., to Daniel and Marie (Lang) Balch.
He served in the U.S. Navy
during World War II
on the troop transport ship the USS General CC Ballou that made several trips around the world dropping off and later picking up service members of the military campaigns going on in various parts of the world. He spoke of his many trips through the Panama Canal and Suez Canal, and the various overseas ports he visited throughout the world.
He married Esther Kramm on Sept. 13, 1952, in St. Michael's Catholic Church in Radom. They welcomed two children, Ronald Edward and Diane Lynn. He attended Washington University in St. Louis. He worked at Country Set, a woman's sports garment factory in St. Louis. He later transferred to Country Set in Du Quoin as the cutting room supervisor and co-manager until the closing of that plant. He finished his career at Menard Prison in Chester as a knit room supervisor.
He was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Du Quoin, a Fourth Degree Knight serving one term as Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus Council, and a member of the American Legion and VFW
He enjoyed serving as Cub and Scout master for his son's troops in St. Louis. He enjoyed building several houses with his son Ron. He and Esther loved going on their yearly winter motor home trips to the Red Oaks Campground in Bushnell, Fla. They planted a huge garden every summer and loved spending time with family and friends. He and Esther shared 60 years of marriage and endeared themselves to their family, friends, church and community with their genuine kindness and positive attitude about life.
He is survived by his wife Esther; son Ron (Jeanna) Balch of Murphysboro; one sister Celeste (Joe) Dillon of St. Louis, Mo.; three brothers, Tom Balch, Jimmy (Ursula) Balch and David (Carol) Balch, all of St. Louis, Mo.; grandchildren, Mark (Jenny), Eric (Jayne) of Omaha, Neb., and Allison (Ginseng) Mileur of Maui, Hawaii; great-grandchildren, Madelyn, John, Andrew, Gretchen, Mariella, Sawyer, and Lilianne Balch of Omaha, Neb.; and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents; daughter, Diane; sister, Delores Stussie and brothers, Dan, Roy, and Jerry Balch.
John will be dearly missed by his wife, family and friends.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 19, in Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Du Quoin, with Father Nick Junker officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Military graveside rites will be conducted by the Du Quoin VFW and American Legion and the U.S. Navy. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Searby Funeral Home in Du Quoin, with a prayer service at 4 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
Friends may make memorials to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Du Quoin or
and will be accepted at the funeral home.
For additional information or to sign the memorial guest register, visit www.searbyfuneralhomes.com