Balis, Ruth

Written by David Green.

Ruth Balis, 94, of Morenci, Mich., died Jan. 13, 2011, at Swanton Health Care in Swanton, Ohio.

She was born June 11, 1916, in Sand Creek, Mich., the daughter of Lee and Martha (Votzke) Pratt.  On Dec. 5, 1935, in Auburn, Ind., she married Donald Balis.  He preceded her in death Aug. 9, 2001.

Ruth was a homemaker living all of her life in the Morenci area.

Survivors include a daughter, Celeta (and John) Winterroth of Crossville, Tenn.; two grandchildren, Bruce (and Sally) Simpkins of Butler, Ind., and Colleen (and Todd) Vanderpool of Morenci; and three great-grandchildren, Gavin and Erin Vanderpool and Dillon Simpkins.

Besides her husband, Ruth was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Helen Robins.

Funeral services are planned at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, at Eagle Funeral Home-Charles Fink Chapel in Morenci, with Rev. William VanValkenburg officiating.  Burial will follow at the Waldron Cemetery. Visitation is scheduled Saturday from noon until the time of service.

Memorial contributions are suggested to a charity of the donor’s choice.

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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