Barbara Balmer

Friday, August 5, 2022
Barbara Balmer

Barbara Lee Balmer, 86, of Merrill, died Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, at her home surrounded by family.

Barbara Lee Balmer was born on April 15, 1936, in Estherville, to Lyle Boyd and Kathryn Emma (Manthey) Stoddard. She attended school in Estherville, graduating in 1954. Barbara married Martin E. Balmer on Nov. 27, 1954, in Estherville.

After her husband enlisted in the United States Army in 1956 the couple traveled to Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas where they were stationed. They stayed at Ft. Bliss until 1963 when they received orders for Okinawa, Japan.

Barb took her children from Estherville, boarded a plane in Sioux City, and traveled to Oakland, California. From there they embarked on a three-week journey on a military transport ship to Okinawa. They spent 2 years on Okinawa and after they returned to the states they were stationed at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.

Further assignment took the family to Panama Canal Zone. It was there Barb learned to scuba dive and ride horses. The family returned to Ft. Belvoir after four years. Barb loved being involved in numerous family activities which included traveling and sporting events. In 1978, the family settled in Merrill where they currently reside.

Barbara was very artistic and used her talents to write poetry, paint, fire ceramics, quilt and create several types of needlework. Many of her works earned her awards and ribbons at contests and fairs. Barb also spent many hours outdoors riding her bike, vegetable gardening and canning.

She will be lovingly remembered by her husband Martin of 68 years: her children, Steven Balmer and his wife, Melanie, Kathy Balmer, LeighAnne Bohlken and her husband, Dan, all Le Mars, Sheryl Chrestiansen and her husband, Wayne, of Estherville, and Keith Balmer of Gooding, Idaho; 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Marilyn and her husband, Roscoe Waterman.

Visitation will begin at 12:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5, and a Celebration of Life Service will take place at 2 p.m. at the Mauer Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars. The Rev. Jon Millen of the Merrill United Methodist Church will officiate. Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery in Merrill.

Expressions of sympathy may be directed through