Obituary for B. Wayne Balch

Wayne Balch, age 78 of Northfield, passed away Tuesday evening, May 2, 2017, at Methodist Hospital in Rochester. Buford Wayne Balch was born December 20, 1938, in New Hope, Madison County, Alabama, to Clarence B. and Era V. (McPeters) Balch. He was raised in the Huntsville, Alabama area, and at the age of 17, enlisted in the US Air Force in January 1956. He served in Japan and following his Honorable Discharge in July 1963, moved to Washington state where he worked as a helicopter pilot. On January 23, 1960, Wayne married Marilyn Benedict. After marriage they continued to live […]

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Wayne Balch, age 78 of Northfield, passed away Tuesday evening, May 2, 2017, at Methodist Hospital in Rochester.

Buford Wayne Balch was born December 20, 1938, in New Hope, Madison County, Alabama, to Clarence B. and Era V. (McPeters) Balch. He was raised in the Huntsville, Alabama area, and at the age of 17, enlisted in the US Air Force in January 1956. He served in Japan and following his Honorable Discharge in July 1963, moved to Washington state where he worked as a helicopter pilot. On January 23, 1960, Wayne married Marilyn Benedict. After marriage they continued to live in Washington and Wayne began working as a commercial pilot crop dusting. They lived in California for a few years before moving to Northfield in 1977. They later divorced. Wayne was a pilot for Western Airlines which merged with Delta Airlines. On November 30, 1985, Wayne married Sandra Wefel in Las Vegas. Together they enjoyed country music, traveling and spending time with family. Wayne cared deeply for, and had a special relationship with his step-son Glenn. Wayne retired from Delta in December 1998. Sandy passed away on November 10, 2007.

In retirement, Wayne worked for Northfield Bus Lines, MNDOT, ABC Bus Lines, and as a helicopter pilot for Scott’s Helicopter Services in Le Sueur. He was a member of the ALPA (Airline Pilots Association), EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association), a life member of both the Northfield VFW and Northfield American Legion, and attended the Church of St. Dominic. He enjoyed having morning coffee at the Quarterback Club, trips to Branson, wild life, bird watching and things involved with aviation.

Survivors include his children, Michael (Cindi) of Le Sueur, DeAna “DeDe” Michaud (Michael Balin) of Highland, California; his grandchildren, Jacob and Carli Balch, Ryan (Marie), Riley and Hannah Michaud; his step-sons, Merle (Lucy) Wefel of Dundas, Wayne (Christy) Wefel of Murrieta, CA, Kelly (Denise) Wefel of Dundas, Paul (Heidi) Wefel of New Richmond, WI, Erick Wefel of Farmington, Glenn Wefel of Northfield; his step-daughters, Dawn (Alan) Welch of Le Center, Laura Wefel of Northfield, Noreen (David) Cooney of Northfield, Raina (Brent) Bergland of St. Paul, numerous step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren; 3 brothers Morris (Barbara) of Huntsville, Joseph (Pat) of Grant, AL, Elbert (Opie) of Madison, AL; other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife Sandra and his parents.

Visitation to celebrate Wayne’s life will be held from 4-7PM Friday, May 5, 2017, at the Bierman Funeral Home. Interment with Military Honors will be held at 10AM on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at Oaklawn Cemetery.

Arrangements are with the Bierman Funeral Home. www.biermanfuneralhome.com

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Funeral

10:00 AM - May 5, 2017

Bierman Funeral Home
1316 Division St S Northfield, 55057 Get Directions

Burial

Burial

Oaklawn Cemetery
1415 Wall Street Rd Northfield, 55057 Get Directions

8 Comments

  1. Guillory Family

    To family and friends of Wayne Balch,

    We extend our heartfelt condolences for your loss. Please be assured of God’s enduring love for you, his concern with your well-being, and his willingness to help you endure this difficult time. (1 Peter 5:7) We pray that God’s promise at Revelation 21:4 will provide you comfort in the days to come. For further comforting thoughts, please visit https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/watchtower-no3-2016-may/when-a-loved-one-dies/.

    The Guillory Family

    Reply
  2. Raymond Zavislak

    Wayne, you were always a gentleman and a Joy to fly with. Maybe we will share a story or two when it’s my turn to fly west.
    Ray

    Reply
  3. Joe Moran

    I am sorry to learn of Wayne’s passing. I worked with him quite a bit when we were based in Minneapolis. He was always a great guy to be around. He is one of the ‘good guys’

    Reply
  4. Bill Dickinson

    Sorry to hear of Waynes passing————We started with WAL on March 27, 1967 and went through Electra training together and spent some time based in SFO——–Did not see much of him after he transferred, but would share when our passed crossed———-My condolences to his family

    Reply
  5. Joe Reid, Secretary, DGW

    On behalf of Delta Golden Wings (DGW) let me add our heart felt condolences to the friends and family of Captain Balch. In addition to his long distinguished airline career, Wayne was a loyal member of DGW. We will miss him.

    Reply
  6. Tom Bender

    Wayne,we will miss you.

    Reply
  7. Jim Lawrence

    ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE GUYS TO FLY WITH AND BE AROUND DURING OUR WESTERN DAYS. WAYNE WAS ALWAYS THERE TO GREET YOU WITH A SMILE AND A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR. YOU WILL BE MISSED MY FRIEND.

    Reply
  8. Jim Aversman

    I always looked forward to flying with Wayne. He left us (his fellow pilots) with so many pleasant memories I’m glad to have known him.

    Reply

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