Dr. R. Jeffrey Balla
Dr. R. Jeffrey Balla, 59, of Yorktown, Virginia, passed away unexpectedly at his farm in Fairmount Twp.

Born and raised in Glen Lyon, he was the son of the late Robert G. and Helen M. Zimolzak Balla. In his youth, Jeff enjoyed Boy Scouting attaining Eagle Scout. He enjoyed an expedition to Philmont, N.M., which was a special scouting experience for him. He was also an organist for St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Alden.

Jeff was a graduate of Nanticoke High School, received a bachelor of science degree from Muhlenburg College and earned a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Penn State University in 1985. After obtaining his degree, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., and at the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, W.Va., where he studied the speed of chemical reactions. Jeff joined the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. in 1988, working as a staff scientist in the Instrument Research Division. His career at NASA Langley included developing laser-based measurements that were used in NASA and Department of Defense wind tunnels to obtain information about the flow over various models over a large range of speeds from low speeds up to hypersonic speeds. Jeff was the author of over 70 journal articles, conference papers, and invited lectures over his career and was the 3rd place winner of Langley's HJE Reid Award for writing one of the best research papers at the center in 2015. He was an adjunct professor of physics at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va. for a number of years where he mentored PhD students. Jeff was a very well-respected researcher at NASA Langley who interacted with numerous colleagues and contributed in many ways toward advancing aeronautics for the nation. He will be greatly missed by his coworkers and friends at NASA. 

Recreationally, Jeff loved working on his farm property in Fairmount Twp., planting many trees, building a pond and maintaining the land. He enjoyed playing pinochle with his family, cousins and friends. He was a member of St. John's Slovak Lutheran Church, Nanticoke and Nanticoke Lodge #332, Free and Accepted Masons.

He was preceded in death by his father in August 1997 and his mother in July 2015.

Jeff is survived by his sister, Jane Walker and husband, David, of Perkasie; nieces and nephews, Abby, David, Hannah and Nathanael Walker as well as numerous aunts and uncles and cousins.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 1, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. in St. John's Slovak Lutheran Church, 604 S. Hanover St., Nanticoke with the Rev. Jane O'Borski, officiating.

Interment will follow in Oak Lawn Cemetery, Hanover Twp.

Relatives and friends may pay their respects Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of the service in the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Boy Scouts of America or the Mill Memorial Library, 495 E. Main St., Nanticoke, PA 18634.

Arrangements are in the care of Davis-Dinelli Funeral Home, 170 E. Broad St., Nanticoke.
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Published by Citizens Voice on Jun. 28, 2017.
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7 Entries
So sorry to hear about Jeffrey.
Denise Mack Whittaker
July 1, 2017
Sorry to hear of Jeff's passing. I was his soutmaster when he was in scouting. I have many fond memories of Jeff, including playing pinochle with him on many of our camping trips. He is a true loss to everyone who knew him.
David Powell
July 1, 2017
I remember Dr. Jeffrey Balla as my classmate at John S. Fine high school. He was a sincerely nice guy. Rest in peace Jeffrey.
Denise (Kovaleski) Skripka
June 30, 2017
Deepest condolences.
Bob Piavis
June 30, 2017
R.I.P. Jeff. Thoughts & Prayers always. May God Bless you & your Family always.
Will Worlinsky
June 30, 2017
So sorry for your loss keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Jane Swithers Roscoe
June 29, 2017
So sorry to hear about Jeff, and I am sorry for your loss. I did smile when I read about his enjoying pinochle and I remembered your family teaching me how to play. You will all be in my prayers.
Dolly Davis
June 29, 2017