Jerome, (Jerry), 85, passed away on Wednesday April 26, 2017 after a long illness. He was born the 12th of 14 children to Julius and Emma Balken in Rothsay, MN.
After High School, and years of farming, he joined the Army and served for 2 years. Opportunity called and he headed west stopping to cowboy and ranch a few years in Montana, then into Washington where he was hired in at Boeing enjoying an exemplary 36 year career as an inspector.
Jerry married his wife, Sherril, in 1960, and together raised their three children in Renton. The family joined St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in 1971 and actively participated in the growth and care of the church. He was a genuine handy man always offering his skills to friends and family without a second thought. Over the years he was active in Little League, Kiwanis Club, OEC, Boeing Retirement Club, American Legion, VFW, The Sons of Norway and Mentored in the Renton School District.
Jerry was proud of his Norwegian heritage, sharing his lifelong love of music and dance through the “Good-Timers” dance band he and his wife had for over 30 years, as well as the countless jam sessions played in a living room, barn or near a campfire. His interests included camping, fishing, reading, travel, cheering for the Seattle Mariners and Seahawks but Jerry’s greatest love was his family.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sherril, daughters Sharolyn Canady, Lori (Tony) Parise, son Ken Balken, brother Loren (Marlene) Balken, sister Jane Griffin and his beloved 7 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.