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Balzer, Harold "Buck" Marvin (1923-2012)

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Date of Birth: 1923 April 5, Inman, Kansas
Date of Death: 2012 April 28, Hutchinson, Kansas

From Find A Grave:

Harold "Buck" Balzer, 89, died April 28, 2012. He was born April 5, 1923 to Isaac and Tena Adrian Balzer.

On December 28, 1945 he married Darlene Steinert. She survives. Other survivors a daughter, a brother, five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and son Steve Balzer.

Funeral will be 10:30 Wednesday at Buhler Mennonite Church. Burial in Buhler Cemetery. with Military Rites by Fort Riley Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Buhler High School in care of Buhler Mortuary, Buhler.

From Hutchinson News 30 April 2012 page A9.

'Mr. Buhler' was guided by faith By Kathy Hanks - The Hutchinson News - khanks@hutchnews.com HUTUCHINSON NEWS 6 MAY 2012 PAGE A11

BUHLER - They called Buck Balzer "Mr. Buhler" because of how much he knew and did for his community.

The 89-year-old retired Buhler High School teacher and coach died April 28. The town has lost their go-to guy for facts about the town's history.

"If we wanted to know anything about people in Buhler, he knew every family tree," said Jim Baker, a colleague and close friend. "He could trace Buhler sports back to the 1930s and was instrumental in getting those early teams into the hall of fame."

He was the author of "The History of Buhler Basketball," the Crusader announcer at games and helped keep the statistics in later years.

Balzar grew up in a home that was centered on education. His father Isaac Balzar was an educator in Inman, Hillsboro and Lehigh, where Buck graduated from high school. He met his wife Darlene when she was a freshman and he was a senior. After he served in World War II, the couple married on Dec. 28, 1945.

"We thought alike," said Darlene. "His church and faith was very important to him."

After graduating from Pittsburg State University the couple headed straight to Buhler to begin his career.

It was here he remained, teaching woodworking, drafting and printing. He coached basketball, football, track and tennis for 38 years.

"He just loved this school," said Mike Berblinger. Though he was retired by the time Berblinger came on the scene, they served together on site council for the past 10 years. "He would stop by every few weeks."

The tennis courts are named after Balzar and his family.

Along with Darlene, he is survived by a daughter, Susie Caster, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A son, Dr. Steven Balzar, and a grandson preceded him in death.

"He had tragedies to deal with," said Berblinger. "But, his faith was so strong he got through."

He was in the middle of many projects according to his wife.

"You ought to see the basement," she said. From genealogy research to stamps collected over a lifetime he was fascinated by so much in life.

"He was so talented and artistic," she said. "He could see things in his mind. It was unreal what he would think about and I would ask if he dreamed it up in his sleep."

His home is filled with walnut tables, chairs, and dresser sets he created. But his talent spread nationwide with large panels he created with a picture and story of any particular athlete. In recent years he turned to Baker for help creating the panels as requests for them kept coming.

"I got to know him very well in his shop in the basement. He was a great Christian man," Baker said. "We shared a lot of laughs in the basement."

Today, the Buhler High School basketball court was going to be dedicated as Buck Balzer Court. Now plans have changed to dedicate the court at the first home basketball game in December.

MLA Personal Photos Collection

Biographical note:
Inman, Kansas
Son of Isaac Henry and Tena Elsie (Adrian) Balzer
Married Darlene Steinert 1945 December 28, McPherson, Kansas
High school teacher, coach -- Buhler, Kansas

Bethel alumni note:
Bethel college student 1941-43

Photo holdings:
Individual -- 1942 BC Graymaroon, p. 39 (2 copies)
See Henry H. Adrian (1873-1952) for family photo

Alumni card
Harold Balzer 1989 corresp.
Grandma Online profile 86233
Find A Grave 89354158

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