Balko, Clarence

Clarence Neely Balko, 88, passed away peacefully January 25, 2015.  Clarence was born in La Grange, Texas on October 9, 1926 to the late Ottilie Frank and Herman W. Balko.  He was a loving husband, dedicated father to his three children, and a wonderful grandfather and great-grandfather.

Clarence graduated from Bishop High School and married Bernice Pauline Kaiser on January 4, 1948.  He was a life-long farmer in the Bishop and Robstown areas until his retirement.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his loving wife of 67 years, Bernice Kaiser Balko.  He is survived by his children, Larry Balko, Ralph (Dianne) Balko, and Brenda (Wade) Bode; his brother, Glen (Marty) Balko; his grandchildren, Bobby Balko, Mia, Alexis, and Neely Balko; Beth (Mak) Becker, Matt (Audrey) Bode, and Bryan Bode; and four great-granddaughters Brooke and Brenna Becker, and Kaydance and Gweneth Bode.

Clarence was a devout Lutheran and loved his church.  He was proud of his German heritage and his family grew accustomed to hearing many of his favorite German words and phrases.  After retirement, he and Bernice enjoyed travelling overseas to Germany.  Clarence was also a man of strong values being both trustworthy and straight forward; he was often thought of as the salt of the earth by those who had the pleasure of knowing him.  Always an active person, he swore he worked harder at being retired than any other time in his life.  He loved collecting Occupied Japan, searching for arrowheads at the Banquete farm, hunting, fishing, gardening, and spending time with his family.  Clarence had a full and wonderful life and will be dearly missed.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, January 28, 2015 with the family present from 6:00 to 8 p.m. at Sawyer George Funeral Home.  Services will be held Thursday, January 29, 2015 at Messiah Lutheran Church at 10 a.m.  Burial will follow at Robstown Memorial Park.  In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Pallbearers will be Mak Becker, Brad Peeples and his grandsons, Bobby Balko, Matt Bode, Neely Balko and Bryan Bode.

The family is very grateful to the staff at the Pavilion Assisted Living and The Villa South; to Al, Louise, Sherry, Roy, and Janice for all the love and care that they provided to our Papa.