Cover photo for Merlin Herbert William Balke's Obituary
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1935 Merlin 2023

Merlin Herbert William Balke

July 12, 1935 — January 21, 2023

Obituary For Merlin Herbert William Balke

Merlin Herbert William Balke, 87, of Sedalia, was received into the arms of Jesus on Saturday, January 21, 2023. He was born July 12, 1935, east of Cole Camp at Balke Prairie to John D. Balke and Minnie Heismeyer Balke. He was preceded in death by his father, mother, three siblings (Richard, Oletha, and Lula), and a stepson, Steve Wittman.

On June 1, 1955, he married Ilene Arnold and was blessed with four children, Daniel Merlin Balke of Sedalia, Jerry Balke (Melisa) of Cole Camp, Kathy Heineman (Steve) of Sedalia, and Scott Balke (Agnes) of Florence. On August 29, 1975, he married Bobbie Wittman and was blessed with four more children, Steve Wittman, Brent Wittman of Sedalia, Julie Nauser (Mark) of Lee’s Summit, Leann Wittman of Wichita, KS. and then they became the “Balke Bunch.”

He has seven grandchildren by his first marriage: Tara Hubbard (Jeff), Aaron Balke (Ashley), Mindy Fox (Levi), Andrew Heineman (Britni), Ayla Dillon, Daniel Balke, Nathaniel Balke, and six great-grandchildren: Zane, Jude, Jubilee, Aysa, Etta, and Ellee. He has three grandchildren from his second marriage: Austin, Chelsea, and Zoe, and one great-grandson Gage.

Merlin was a man of God and a faithful member of Calvary Baptist Church for forty-eight years.

As a child, he worked on the family farm at Balke Prairie in Cole Camp, followed by driving a milk truck. He then retired in 1998 from a forty-four-year career at Pittsburgh Corning.

His calling and passion were for building and construction. He alone took on the construction and completion of four homes, his workshop, numerous renovation projects, and most any woodworking task he could find, all while continuing to work full time. There was no carpenter or building project too big or small for him to take on. He loved fishing for crappie every April. He enjoyed watching God’s creation, the birds and squirrels, in his own backyard. His furry best friends were his two Lady dogs and his two Miss Kitty cats.

Survivors include his wife, Bobbie, seven children and their spouses, ten grandchildren and their spouses, seven great-grandchildren, his sister Erma Busing and many nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers are Andrew Heineman, Aaron Balke, Daniel Balke, Levi Fox, Zane Lohefener, Gage Mayhew, and Joe Eschbacher.

In honor of his love for his church and animals family suggests donations be given to Calvary Baptist Church or Sedalia Animal Shelter.

The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at Calvary Baptist Church, with Pastor Jonathan Wallenbeck officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Graveside service immediately following at Memorial Park Cemetery. Lunch will be provided by Calvary Baptist Church.

Arrangements are in the care of Rea Funeral Chapel.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Merlin Herbert William Balke, please visit our flower store.


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