James Gilmore Balmer

July 29, 1922December 13, 2012

James G. Balmer Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Died peacefully December 13th with family at his side. Born July 29, 1922, he was the son of James G. Balmer, Sr. and Grace Cuddy Balmer of Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) with a BA in industrial design. He served proudly in the Army Air Corps in the Philippines and Japan during WWII. On August 12, 1950 he married Helen Harris Howick, who survives him after 62 years of marriage. Following military service, he worked as a lead designer for automotive icon Harley Earl at General Motors. In the mid-1950's he co-founded Armstrong Balmer & Associates, an internationally-recognized industrial design firm in Michigan. Among his many accomplishments, he had numerous design patents, including the 1959 original design of the Xerox 914, the first plain paper copier in the world. He was the recipient of a number of professional awards, but he considered his family his greatest accomplishment.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children Janet Quiring (John), James Balmer III (Martha) and Lindsay Hinz (Randy); beloved grandchildren Carrie, Alison, Adam, Nick, Gretchen, Grace, Benjamin, Clara, Mallory and Jamie; and ten great-grandchildren. He instilled in his children a creative spirit and an ambition to do good. A military graveside service will be held at 11:00am, Friday, December 21st at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, MI. Memorial contributions can be made to the Variety Club, 5757 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 445 Los Angeles, CA 90036

The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing, Michigan. On line condolences may be made at


  • Graveside Service Friday, December 21, 2012

James Gilmore Balmer

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Pete & Dorothy Elliott

December 17, 2012

To the Balmer Family,
May the Grace that brought us all this far continue with you during these times; and may the collective thoughts and prayers of your many friends and loved ones bring comfort. Your Ann Arbor friends are with you.

Julie Baker

December 16, 2012

To the Hinz Family....

Our prayers and thoughts are with you during this difficult time. May the arms of God wrap around you and give strength.

Love and Peace...
The Baker Family