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Ken Balk, 84

Kenneth Lee Balk, age 84, of Sturgis, passed away Tuesday morning, April 16, 2019, at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo.
He was born Nov. 6, 1934, in Sturgis, a son of the late Elmer Carl and Erma Pearl (Falkenstein) Balk.
Ken had resided at Omena Lake in Sturgis since 1991, coming from Centreville. He was a 1953 graduate of Centreville High School, where he excelled in sports.
On June 12, 1953, he married his high school sweetheart, Wanda Lou Baumert, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Centreville. She preceded him in death March 27, 2014.
On Oct. 7, 1956, Ken enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He honorably served his country until his retirement May 1, 1975. Following his retirement from the U.S. Navy, he returned to Centreville, where he accepted a position as a teacher with Centreville Community Schools. Ken taught math and science at the middle school until he retired in 1996. While at Centreville schools, he coached football, basketball and baseball, which afforded him the opportunity to coach his sons.
Ken was an active, longtime member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Centreville, where he was an elder and served the church as treasurer, among many other involvements. He also was a member of American Legion Post #170 in Three Rivers. Ken loved traveling around the lake to neighbors on his lawn tractor, picking up sticks in his lawn and he had a true love and appreciation for sports, both participating and watching. He was a loyal fan of the Michigan Wolverines.
He is survived by two daughters, Kendra K. Bell and Karen Kristine (Raymond) Bell, both of Sturgis; two sons, Timothy Tad (Paula) Balk of Elkhart, Ind., and Thomas Ted (April) Balk of Butler, Pa.; eight grandchildren, Jennifer (Ken) Bickle, Christopher (Jessica) Bell, Evan (Julie) Balk, Daniel (Leah) Balk, Jessica (Mike) Wood, David Balk, Raychel (Mario) Rusnak and Nicole (Jason) Nagle; eight great-grandchildren, Madison Balk, Owen Bickle, McKenna Balk, Oliver Bickle, Kenzie Bell, Emma Balk, Brayden Balk and Alyvia Bell; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; two brothers, Nubert Balk and Carl Balk; and a sister-in-law, Lathorlyn Balk.
In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Centreville. A memorial service celebrating the life of Kenneth Lee Balk will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday. The Rev. David Grim will officiate. A graveside committal and burial of the ashes will follow the service at Nottawa Cemetery in Nottawa.
Hackman Chapel of Hackman Family Funeral Homes, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, is entrusted with the arrangements.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Balk’s memory consider St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 600 W. Burr Oak St., Centreville, MI 49091; Fresenius Kidney Care, 1276 Kitson Ave., Sturgis; or Thurston Woods Village, 307 N. Franks Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091.
His obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhomes.com, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.

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