OBITUARY

Joseph Fredrick Balmes

September 5, 1942April 24, 2021
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Joseph F. Balmes, 78, of The Woodlands, TX, passed away peacefully at home on April 24, 2021. He was born in Chicago, IL, on September 5, 1942. Fred graduated from Waukegan Township High School in 1961, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University in 1966. He married Ginny Balmes in 1966 in Rockford, IL, and they were married 54 years. Fred was a Captain and helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps for 7 years, and was a veteran of the Vietnam War. He had a career as a sales engineer at Eaton Corporation for 35 years. He belonged to Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church in The Woodlands, TX, and was active in the Knights of Columbus. He was a member and past president of both the VFW in Bolingbrook, IL, and the 1st Marine Division Association in Houston, TX. He was very active in the Boy Scouts with his son Brian, and was a Scoutmaster for many years. He was a science fair judge for the Education for Tomorrow Alliance. He had a passion for photography and for traveling to National Parks with his wife, especially Yosemite. Fred was a wonderful husband and a loving father and grandfather.

He is survived by his wife Ginny, his son Brian (Patty) Balmes, his daughter Jennifer (Jason) King, grandchildren Erin Balmes, Rylie Balmes, (Army specialist) Benjamin Balmes, Caleb King, and Cody King, and siblings Bob Balmes, Virginia McDonald, Phyllis Balmes, Geoff Balmes, and Chris Pendleton. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Mary Balmes, parents in-law Henry and Mary Chiodini, and his brother Jim.

A memorial wake will be held at American Heritage Funeral Home on May 9, 2021 at 5:00 PM, a Vigil will take place at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM and funeral mass at Sts. Simon and Jude on May 10, 2021 at 10:00 AM, followed by internment with military honors at the Houston National Cemetery at 12:45 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Fred’s honor to The Knights of Columbus Council 6557 at 29327 South Plum Creek Drive, Spring, TX 77386.

Services

  • Visitation

    Sunday, May 9, 2021

  • Vigil

    Sunday, May 9, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Monday, May 10, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Monday, May 10, 2021

Memories

Joseph Fredrick Balmes

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Erin Balmes

May 9, 2021

Grandpa was such an amazing grandfather. He was such a strong and supportive person and I am honored to have had him in my life. I followed in his footsteps as an engineer and loved hearing the stories about calculus and his slide rule. I will truly miss his huge hugs, deep laugh and olive fingers. Seeing the love he showed to Grandma, my Dad, Jen and my family is something I will cherish forever. I am so thankful that I got to spend his last Christmas with him, Grandma and Ben. Those memories will always be held close to my heart.

I love you forever Grandpa,

Erin

Julianne Sennese

May 9, 2021

Mr. Balmes was known to me as "Jen's Dad". From the time I met Jen in 1st grade and going over to her house a lot to play or swim, he was always in the background doing things for his family. I remember him fixing stuff- bikes, pools, cars so that we could enjoy our childhood. He liked to tell us jokes and always had a smile on his face, never complaining. I also visited Jen in Houston a few times and he made sure our whole family would have bikes to ride and took so many great photos of Jen and me for memories. He was so patient with us and our silly girl talk or games! He loved his family so much and I love that he was the best dad to my best friend! Love to the Balmes family.

Terry & Ginny Perciante

May 7, 2021

On one occasion during the early years as our daughter, Julianne, and their daughter, Jennifer, became the closest of friends, we stopped by the Balmes home in West Chicago. Fred knew we were coming and arranged to have his twin brother greet us at the door impersonating Fred. It was a good deception, and one that promoted more than a few minutes of amusement, especially for Fred.

Our other thoughts of Fred:
Long-time friend of 40 years
Wonderful smile; sense of humor
Gentle giant with a deep calming voice
Man for his family
Man for his country
Lover of God's creation as shown through his photography

Ginny, we will uphold you and your family in our prayers.

Jerry Reed

May 6, 2021

Fred was a friend, a fellow Marine and a fellow Knight and he was a very kind and loving husband, father and role model/mentor for the men in his family, young Marines and young married men in his church. Fred's impact was significant because he led by example always loving and protecting his beloved Ginny and his family. Fred served others through his activities in his Knights of Columbus council and his extremely generous support of seriously wounded and ill Warriors and their families during the recent wars in the Middle East. For years, Fred's smiling face was forever reassuring to many, many Warriors going through difficult combat injury recoveries at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Fred was the heart and soul of the 1st Marine Division Association Color Guard and he and Ginny were on station at the Houston National Cemetery every Memorial Day for many years honoring and remembering America's fallen heroes. Fred will be dearly missed but heaven has added a truly courageous American hero to its numbers. Semper Fidelis in Christ, Jerry Reed

Caleb and Cody King

May 4, 2021

Letters read to Grandpa while he was in the hospital:

Dear Grandpa, I will always remember you and all the memories we’ve had together. I’ve always looked forward to going on bike rides with you and hearing your stories. Coming down to Texas to see you and Grandma was always my favorite place to go. I love you and will always love you.
Love, Caleb.

Grandpa I miss you and I love hanging out with you in Texas. I loved going to parks and on bike rides with you. Thank you for being a great grandpa, love Cody



Benjamin Balmes

May 4, 2021

My fondest memory of my grandfather was the day I graduated OSUT, infantry basic training. I was all dressed up in my dress uniform and it was a ceremony to put my blue cord on my uniform to signify the infantry. My family and I talked before hand and decided for him to put it on me. After not seeing my family for a very long time the first person I saw was him. He walked up wearing his tan zip up jacket and his green marine uniform cap with his captains rank on it. As he walked up it took everything in me to keep my composure, and even harder when he put it on me. Once he was done he hugged me, said he was very proud and stepped back and saluted me. I will always remember that moment, so special to have with him. Of course my parents were right there to take pictures of it all, but I love you grandpa. I always will. Apart of you is in me weather it is through the military or my own name, Benjamin Fredrick Balmes. I miss you so much.

Debby (Balmes) Freel

May 4, 2021

Dear Aunt Ginny, Brian & Patty, Jen & Jason, and all the grandkids,
We are so sorry for your loss of such an amazing, kind, loving husband, father and grandfather. Since my Dad is his twin, we always called Uncle Fred our "Uncle Daddy," then my kids called him "Uncle Gooah" too. I have many wonderful memories of childhood camping trips, then later family reunions and visits over the years. I was so thankful when Uncle Fred came up to Dallas when I was a missioner in the inner-city schools, he visited me, we had dinner and he checked out my old car to make sure it would be safe to go 14 hours back to GA. Over the years I've enjoyed seeing Uncle Fred and Aunt Ginny, looking at his amazing nature photos and family pictures. We sure will miss him. May he rest in peace in God's loving presence, watching over you from heaven. Due to my health, I'm sorry we cannot travel to TX for the funeral, but our family will continue to pray for you ALL.
Much love, prayers and "air hugs,"
Debby & Brian Freel & Chris, Katherine, Skylar & Jonathan

Virginia McDonald

May 4, 2021

Julie Bolster

May 4, 2021

Im so very sorry for the passing of Uncle Fred. We know he is not “lost” but home. I’m really glad I got to talk to you all. You and Aunt Ginny were peacefully taking a break and I loved that she shared her passion. Fred knew his time. You can call me again if you want. I’m hoping you all are huddled together in the comfort of loving memories as a family. Love you all so much

Sue Marrin Balmes

May 4, 2021

While I was making dinner this evening I told Sherry of the time that Fred stayed with Jim & I when Suzie was still a babe. She hadn't slept through the night yet & Jim Fred and I were playing cards when Fred decided this would be the night!! Well, she cried 5 minutes, I went to get up Fred said , she's fine, I swallowed hard , ten minutes later I looked to Fred , he just shook his head No, 10 more minutes I was in visible agony when Fred said she's fine trust me another 10:00 minutes she'll be gone. I'm thinking sure but where? End of story , she slept through the night and every night thereafter! Just as calmly as Fred walked this novice Mommy through that crossroad I know that heaven is walking him through those beautiful Pearly gates & he is smiling because he knew all along "Don't worry , It will be fine & we'll be waiting for you all 💞Love you Fred, give Jim a kiss for me

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