James D. Balzer, 84, of Dunkirk, passed away on the evening of April 11, 2022, at Buffalo General Hospital.
He was known by his lifelong nickname “Pinky” given to him by his older brothers. When someone would ask his children who their father was, if they said James or Jim, the person would say “oh, I don’t know him.” His son or daughter would respond, “he goes by Pinky,” to which the person commented, “oh, I know Pinky”
Pinky was predeceased by an infant daughter and his parents, Andrew and Hedwig (Bogacz) Balzer. He was one of seven boys who all preceded him to eternal rest. His brothers are: Andrew Jr., Walter (Jack), Godfrey (Bob), Stanley (Buddy), Tommy, and Ronnie. This family reunion was a long wait and heaven will never be the same.
Pinky graduated high school and enlisted with the armed services. He served with the U.S. Navy from 1954-58. While in the U.S. Navy he saw many other countries and shared many stories to those who would listen. Upon discharge from the U.S. Navy he was employed as a steelworker and electrician at Al Tech where he worked until he retired.
Pinky married Carol Wroblewski Balzer on May 3, 1960. He was blessed to have a loving, caring, and dedicated wife who stayed abreast of his health issues. It is because of her love and devotion, Pinky was able to live as many healthy and meaningful years as he did.
He is survived by his wife, Carol of 61 years; two sons: James D. II and William; two daughters: Laurie (Dan) Washington and Susan (Carl) Lis; four grandchildren: Andrea (Matthew) Tomala, Katelyn and James Skrzeczkowski and Ricky Balzer; three great-grandchildren; and sister and brother-in-law, Sandra and Luke Matteson. Pinky has many nieces and nephews throughout the United States.
In his younger years, Pinky would participate in soft ball and bowling leagues. He was a Little League coach for the Kiwanis Club and could always be found at either the Little League field or the Babe Ruth field. He was a life member at the First Ward Falcon Club and Conservation Club. Pinky was an avid fisherman and hunter. He could be found at the Dunkirk Dock in all types of weather trying to get the catch of the season. He was a hunter for all seasons using both bow and shotgun, squirrel, rabbit, pheasant, turkey, deer, he couldn’t wait to get out into the woods. When he was able to bring his four legged partners, it made hunting all the better.
If desired, memorials may be made to Lakeshore Humane Society in Dunkirk.
Visitation will be Monday, April 18, 2022, from 4-7 p.m. at McGraw Kowal Funeral Home with a Funeral Mass on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, at 10 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. Entombment will be in the Assumption Mausoleum of St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Uncle Pinky was a good man among men. May he rest in peace. I am ever grateful my sister, Renee and I were able to see him and Aunt Carol a few years ago. All my love, his loving niece, Deb Balzer (Buddy’s daughter).