Firman "Joe" Balza
1923 - 2018
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Firman "Joe" Balza

Green Bay - Firman Joseph Balza, 95, passed away Wednesday, October 10, 2018. He was born September 25, 1923, to Theophile and Mary (Leurquin) Balza, the youngest of 11 sons. At the age of 17, Firman enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Maryland during World War II. He was one of the last surviving servicemen from the Attack on Pearl Harbor. On April 23, 1949, he married Nathalie M. Larscheid. "Joe" had been employed by Wisconsin Public Service for many years.

A true lover of the outdoors, Firman enjoyed camping with his family and hunting and fishing with his brother-in-law, Carlton Larscheid. He was very proud of becoming a licensed pilot at the age of 63.

He is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Nathalie Balza; two daughters, Jeanne (Michael) Lefebvre and Carol Lehto; two granddaughters, Carey Lefebvre and Allyson (Scott) Queoff; two great-granddaughters, Jazmin and Cadence Queoff; a brother, Tony Balza; many nieces and nephews and some very special friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Theophile and Mary Balza; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Joseph and Bertha (Gille) Larscheid; and nine brothers.

There will be a memorial gathering from 9:00 to 10:50 a.m. Saturday at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 2040 Hillside Dr. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the church with Rev. James Feely officiating. Inurnment will be in Allouez Chapel Mausoleum. Proko-Wall Funeral Home is assisting the family. To send online condolences visit

The Balza family extends a special thank you to the first-floor staff at Aurora Baycare Medical Center and the staff of Aurora at Home Hospice for their care of Firman.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Oct. 11 to Oct. 12, 2018.
Memorial Gathering
09:00 - 10:45 AM
Memorial Mass
11:00 AM
St. Bernard Catholic Church
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10 entries
October 12, 2018
I am very sorry about your loss. May the God of all comfort be with you at this difficult time.
October 12, 2018
Joan Niquette
October 11, 2018

Clete and I had so many good visits with Firman as he would stop over often. But especially for Clete, they had lots of flying time together over the years flying to all kinds of different places and breakfasts and lunches. And everyone was always happy to see Firman. Clete says Firman had a wealth of knowledge about so many things and could figure just about any problem -- smart man. We will miss him and life will not ever be quit the same but we have the memories.
October 11, 2018
Joe and Jim will probably entertain those around them with many stories of their Naval life, they were such good friends for years, they will be missed. Jackie D.
October 11, 2018
I hope Mr. Balza was honored for his service at Pearl Harbor. I feel privileged to be able to read of his life and I am so thankful for his service so that I may be free.
Brita Coffey
October 11, 2018
So very sorry to hear of Firman's passing, he will be
missed , Harold and I always enjoyed times reminiscing with he and the Larscheid's.
May you and your family find peace, our
Prayers are with you all.
Harold Ysebaert Family
October 11, 2018
Our sympathy to Mr. Balza's loved ones at this time of loss. We were honored and grateful to meet Mr. Balza and hear him speak to our sons' Boy Scout troop not long ago. Thank you for your service, Firman, and for choosing to share the gift and lessons of your story with so many. May your memory be eternal.
The Griffiths Family
October 11, 2018


October 10, 2018
I was so sad to hear of Uncle Firman's passing. He was a very special person and was loved by all that knew him. I am sorry that I will not be able to attend the services. I really would have loved to have been there for the celebration of his life. Lots of love to you all!
Beth Balza Campbell
October 10, 2018
Firman was an amazing man! My husband, Mitch, stumbled across the opportunity to mow the lawn for Firman two years ago. What started as a short mowing of the lawn, quickly turned into a beautiful friendship. Those two would sit together for hours, solving the world's problems and discussing important life lessons. Mitch looked forward to those weekly visits, while my children and I looked forward to hearing Mitch repeat Firman's stories and adventures. You could always count on some wisdom and, of course, some humor in those stories! Mitch looked up to Firman and talked about him all the time. It is an understatement to say that Firman was an amazing man. He truly was a hero.

We are so sad to hear of his passing. Please know that your family is in our thoughts and prayers and that Firman will be missed dearly.

Kristi, Mitch, Ava, Landon, Brock, and Ky Gauthier
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