John Russell Balch was born in Burlington, Washington, and passed away on November 3, 2022, in Seattle, with all four of his children by his side.
John was a storyteller to his core and his warm personality and sense of humor brought joy to many. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. John grew up on the Olympic Peninsula, in Sekiu.
His adventuresome upbringing gave rise to his hobbies: shooting and collecting guns, reloading, scuba diving and woodworking. He worked for his father (Herbert R. Balch), on his charter boat taking customers salmon fishing and earning the title of Captain.
After earning a degree in Oceanography Technology from Shoreline Community College, he worked at the University of Washington for three decades. His contributions to the UW’s primate research programs aided in advancing scientific knowledge in endocrinology and neurophysiology.
His time at UW also introduced him to his former wife, Mary Ann Pelkey. John was preceded in death by his parents, Herb and Nymah Jean (Galyean) Balch, and his brother, Michael E. Balch. He is lovingly remembered and will be forever missed by his children: Paula Balch and son-in-law Rori Campbell, Valerie Balch and son-in-law Bryan Essick, Gregory Balch, and Janet Balch.
He is also loved and missed by his former wife Mary Ann Schleer, grandson Owen Balch, brother Jeffrey Balch and sister-in-law Rebecca, stepmother Sandra Balch, stepbrother Jason Meadows, and sister-in-law Darlene Balch.
A celebration of his life will be held in Seattle in January. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information if you would like to attend.