Steve J., age 95, retired Duluth businessman fell asleep in the Lord surrounded by his wife and children on Friday, October 18th. Preceded by son: Paul. Survived by wife: Marlene, children: Steve (Nwe) Balach Jr., Dr. Mary Jo (Dr. Robert) Lund, Joanie Balach, Daniel (Lara) Balach and Lana (Luc) VanAnderlecht, grandchildren: Travis (Aggie) Lund, Serdjan (Laura) Balach, Amelia (Ryan) Olson, Alexandre and Katya VanAnderlecht and Avian Ciganko-Ford, great-grandchildren: Sydney Ann, Payne and Maren, step-grandchildren: Michael, Marc and Christiana, step-great-grandson: Nicholas, brothers: Dr. Joseph (Shirley) and Robert Balach and sister: Ann Westerlund. He is also fondly remembered by numerous nieces, nephews, and kumovi.
Steve distinguished himself in a wide range of civic and social organizations aimed at supporting and improving both the city of Duluth and his home community of Gary-New Duluth. Steve was a member of the Arrowhead Civic Club, Duluth Planning Commission, Minnesota State Zoo Board, The Shrine Aad Temple and the Scottish Rite, Past Commander of VFW Post 6320, Past President of the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church and the Gary-New Duluth Community Club, and Former Vice-president of the Serb National Federation. On Memorial Day 2014, the mayor proclaimed it Steve Balach Day for the City of Duluth.
From 1940 to 1945, Steve served on active duty in the US Navy in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. Having lied about his age, Steve enlisted in the US Navy reserve at the age of 16, and found himself on active duty at the age of 17. Initially he served on the USS Paducah, and later on the USS Liddle, which was struck by a kamikaze in the the Battle of Ormoc Bay, leaving him, at the age of 21, as the highest ranking surviving officer on the ship.
Visitation at FIRST MEMORIAL FUNERAL CHAPEL 4100 Grand Ave. Monday from 5 to 8 PM with Pomen Service at 7 PM. Funeral service at ST. GEORGE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH 1216 -104th Ave. W. Tuesday at 11 AM with visitation one hour prior. Interment Oneota Cemetery. Memorials preferred to St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Shrine Children’s Hospital, or GND Rec Center.
Arrangements with Kozlak-Radulovich Chapel