On October 19 Larry Alan Balk left his earthly home and went to be with his Heavenly Father.
He is proceeded in death by his daughter Jennifer Balk-Wilcoxson and parents, Elroy and Violet Balk.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sharon M. Balk, daughter Amy Jo Balk-Jacolenne (Patrick Jacolenne), daughter Rebecca Balk, and grandchildren Jaden, Triniti, Liam and Jenna.
Larry was born April 4, 1947 in St.Charles, MN to Elroy and Violet Balk. He attended primary school in Winona, MN where he met his future wife Sharon, as 7 year old children, later becoming high school sweethearts and marrying in 1966. They moved to Minneapolis where Larry attended Dunwoody Industrial Institute, earning a degree in Technology. He then took a job with IBM which moved them to Kansas City, after 30 years with IBM he retired and became a part of Sirius Computer Solutions, where he worked for many more years and retired again, this time in 2014. This career and skillset set up the family to never need a service call, in all of Larry’s adult life, he was able to fix and solve Everything and Anything! After Larry graduated from Dunwoody, he studied at Calvary Bible College. Feeling God’s call, this prepared him well as he served and led throughout his church life in multiple capacities.
Larry and Sharon have 3 girls, welcoming their first daughter Jennifer Marie in 1968 and their second, Amy Jo, in 1971. During that time they bought their first home in Shawnee, KS where they became avid members of Shawnee Bible Church, creating many life-long friendships. Larry and Sharon, along with a few other families, were led to start a transplant church which moved them in 1977 to Olathe, KS, where they reside today. Larry was the first music director at Olathe Bible Church and Sharon played the piano and sang, and as often as they could, would drag Jennifer and Amy up on stage to sing hymns as a family for the church. Here they welcomed their third daughter, Rebecca Ann, who stole the family’s heart.
Larry loved all things farm life, especially horses, guns, pick-ups and John Deere tractors. He spent time meticulously refurbishing an antique JD that he entered in a parade and was proud to bring home the #2 prize.
Some his favorite childhood memories were of riding his horses, especially Penny, with his german shepherd Lady running alongside. He loved remembering all the fields he worked on a tractor with his dad and the time he brought home his first deer on a solo hunt at age 12.
In his later years he loved the vacations he took to Maui with Sharon, turning into a true Hawaiian in spirit, sporting Hawaiian shirts and puka bead jewelry when back in KC – we loved this about him. For their silver wedding anniversary celebration, Larry and Sharon travelled with a group of church friends to serve on a missions trip to Turkey, what a special gift for them. Larry loved spending time with his four grandchildren and had a special bond with each of them. He would travel to Ohio every spring and fall where he would stay with Amy and Patrick for several weeks to put up hay with them, he relished these times back in the fields and on a tractor. Sharon would come join him once all the hay was put up ??.
Larry loved his Harley and he and Sharon rode with a Christian Motorcycle club on many day trips throughout the region, they truly enjoyed that time of fellowship.
Larry was known for his sense of humor, he loved jokes and loved to laugh and was a true instigator. He was a big, strong man with a very soft heart, which put him at the ready to help anyone with anything they might need.
We know Larry is living in paradise, joined by those who went before him, and we know they welcomed him laughing and excited to have him there with them.
We will truly miss the bedrock of our family but will rejoice knowing we will see him again in paradise.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to Countryside Mission Fund, c/o Countryside Baptist Church, 14150 W. 175th St. Overland Park, KS 66221, or online at http://cside.org/online-giving/
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