Richard William Balz, Sr., 84, of Ladysmith, passed away on Thursday, April 1, 2021, at Marshfield Medical Center-Eau Claire.
Richard was born in Eau Claire, on May 26, 1936, to Harry and Harriet (Robbins) Balz.
Richard served in the U.S. Army and Navy for 14-1/2 years. He later worked on the Soo Line and met his wife, Betty Read, and married. They were married 46 years. He had many adventures after that with deciding to buy Cedar Lodge and trucking from coast to coast at the same time. After they sold Cedar Lodge he began working in construction. Later when he wished to be closer to home, he drove tour buses and school buses. During this time he decided to build the VMA in Ladysmith. With a lot of red tape and a strong back, he and a few service friends and family made that dream possible. Richard’s passion for life was to travel and family. No matter how bad his health became, he always was concerned about others.
Richard leaves behind his wife, Betty, and four daughters, Gwen (Dan) Anderson, Marlene Haygood, Peggy (Scott) Nelson and Edwina (Robert) Galetka. He had eight children from a previous marriage. He also is survived by nine grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Preceding him in death are his parents, two sisters and one son.
Richard had some close, dear friends that helped him till the end, Dave (Cassie), Gus (Connie), Bruce and Bill H.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Women With Courage Foundation in Ladysmith.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, April 12, at Nash-Jackan Funeral Home in Ladysmith with Rev. Craig Zandi officiating. Military honors will be provided by the Ladysmith Veterans Association. There will be an hour of visitation from 10 a.m. until service time on Monday at the funeral home.