John William “Jack” Balzer passed away at the age of 97 on November 20, 2020, at his home in Round Rock, TX. Jack was born on September 30, 1923 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to George and Alberta Balzer. Orphaned at a young age, he was raised by his uncle and aunt, Lawrence and Ethel Nelson, of Sweetwater, Texas.
Jack graduated from Sweetwater High School and began his college studies at Texas A&M University. He put his studies on hold to join the US Navy in 1943, where he served on the PC 1139 submarine chaser, and later, the USS Boxer CV21 aircraft carrier. Jack always described his service as “the time of his life” and loved to share stories and pictures of experiences in the South Pacific.
After his service ended in 1949, he returned to Texas A&M and finished his Bachelor of Science degree in 1952. Jack’s career spanned over 30 years as an electrical engineer with Gulf Oil Company, later Chevron.
Jack met the love of his life, Grace, in 1975. They married in April of that same year and Jack became stepdad to her five children, and through the following years, became Grandpa to 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Following Jack’s retirement in 1985, he and Grace made their home at Canyon Lake, where they were members of the Canyon Lake United Methodist Church. Jack enjoyed fishing and golfing with good friends through the years. He was an avid Aggie fan and enjoyed keeping up with sports and events at the University.
In their 42 years of marriage, Jack and Grace enjoyed traveling abroad – Jack’s all-time favorite destination was Australia. He was always happy to find a listening ear to share their adventures.
Jack is preceded in death by his wife Grace, daughter Suzi Blair, and his parents. He is survived by children John and Olga Parker of Canyon Lake, Dan and Carol Parker of Ft. Worth, Sally and Larry Davis of Houston, and Eileen and Ronnie Potts of Round Rock, his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many other beloved family members and friends.
Jack was a stalwart example of loving fatherhood. He set a quietly dignified example of humility, steadiness, gentility, humor, discipline and love. Our hearts are comforted by the thought that he is once again with his dear wife, parents, and others he cherished who went before him. He loved his family deeply and unconditionally. His are shoes that cannot be filled.
Graveside services will be held at a later date in Dayton, Texas.