October 7, 1934 – March 13, 2014
Michael J. Balbach, 79, passed away Thursday 13 March 2014 at home in Richmond, VA. Born 7 October 1934 in Newark, N.J., he was raised in Down Neck Newark. Mickey attended St. Benedict's Grammar School and East Side High School where he played baseball and was co-captain of the swim team. He served in the Korean Conflict as a corporal in the US Army. A tool and die maker by trade, he moved to New Providence, NJ in 1960 where, among other projects, he worked on parts for the US Space Program for Bell Labs. Foreswearing the snow and in search of the perfect dive spot, on January 1st 1968 he and his family moved to St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Mickey managed a watch making company, then a pantyhose manufacturing plant enabling him to tell people he "went from watches to crotches". He then managed Gannett Corp. hardware store and construction company for many years, as well as owning the Suds n Duds laundry. Mickey was an enthusiastic diver and sailor, helming the St. Croix Dive Club and serving as Commodore of the St. Croix Yacht Club. He holds the dubious distinction of taking two days to complete the around the island race- completed in hours by most other sailors! He also was a gifted tenor and actor, performing in numerous productions at Island Center, Botanical Gardens, and other theaters on St. Croix. Later, when he moved to Hartwell, Ga to manage the Hartwell Training Center factory, he also performed at the Hartwell Playhouse. Retiring to Zephyrhills, FL, he wrote as well as performed in numerous productions at the Southport Springs Clubhouse. He was predeceased by his beloved son Mark John. In Richmond he leaves behind his wife of 59 years, Mary Ann, daughter Mary Ann, her husband Jeff Markunas and their children Christopher (Morgan Montgomery) , Katie, and Nicholas ; In NJ, son Michael (Joyce) and his children Jennifer, Louie, Mark , and in NC, Michael. There will be no services, but any time you get a chance to catch a few rays of sunshine, enjoy the warmth, and be sure to think of Mickey quoting his favorite saying, "It's not easy being me!"
Arrangements under the direction of Woody Funeral Home Huguenot Chapel, Midlothian, VA.
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December 6, 2014
It's been a long time ago! But I will always remember your friendly smile. St Croix was a great place to meet people like you. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers my friend.
March 24, 2014
We miss you Mickey and know that you are singing with the angels in heaven. We hope you found that perfect dive spot that you were looking for! Southport Springs is not the same without you and MaryAnn.
March 18, 2014
You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Brother and liz kmetz
March 16, 2014
Thinking of you with sorrow. Our deepest sympathy. Psalm 62:7, 8 have faith in God's promises
Bud Hazelgrove, GM
March 14, 2014
Please accept Woody staff condolences for your loss. You can depend on us to assist you on this journey and we will strive for your complete satisfaction while your loved one is in our care. We believe you deserve nothing less. For these difficult days, we will be honored to have you consider our home and family a part of yours.