Dorothy May Balzer
June 26, 1938 – October 10, 2021
On Sunday, October 10, 2021, Dorothy May Balzer passed away peacefully with loving family by her side.
Dorothy Balzer was born June 26, 1938 in Manila, Philippines. She and her siblings, Robert and Marlene, were raised by their mother, Helen. During World War II, Dorothy and her family were interned with other American citizens in the Santo Tomas Internment Camp until they were liberated by American soldiers in 1945. The family relocated to Portland, Oregon to be with extended family.
Dorothy grew up in Southeast Portland and graduated from Franklin High School. She worked as a telephone operator. She married Richard Balzer and they raised two daughters, Christine and Lynn, in Northeast Portland.
Dorothy worked for the Parkrose School District for nearly 30 years in several positions in the schools and at the district office. After retiring in 2003, she enjoyed getting together with friends and family and especially cherished time with her three grandchildren. She was the kind of grandmother that every kid loved to visit, and she thoroughly enjoyed ‘spoiling’ her grandchildren, Austin, Katie and Jackson. You could say Dorothy had a 'green thumb’ and she was happiest working in her garden. She was known for raising beautiful flower gardens, and especially loved lilies, tulips and Tropicana roses. She was a lover of all animals, especially the many dogs which were part of the family at various times.
In recent years, Dorothy lived at Laurel Parc in Bethany where she was loved by all. She was a wonderfully generous woman well-known for handing out cookies and candy (especially KitKat bars) to residents, visitors and staff. She loved to visit the bistro area to enjoy coffee and a treat with friends and family. Everyone knew her well, and her thoughtfulness, friendliness, and generosity were appreciated by all the staff. Dorothy is survived by her daughters, Christine (Rob) and Lynn (Andy), and her grandchildren Austin Pellissier and Katie Zechnich.
In her passing, Dorothy now rejoins her husband Richard, mother Helen, siblings Marlene and Robert, and beloved youngest grandson Jackson Zechnich. You can honor Dorothy by greeting and welcoming those around you, sharing a cup of coffee and a treat with a new or old friend, getting outside to take a walk, or planting a flower in the garden.
A private service will be held at Willamette National Cemetery.
The family requests remembrances be made in the form of contributions to the Jackson Zechnich Memorial Scholarship Fund at Western Washington University: https://www.vikingfunder.com/JZmemorial.
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Dorothy May Balzer
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