Gerald Franklin Balch, 78, of Charlevoix, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 21, 2023, surrounded by his loving family at home. He fought the good fight from diabetes that he endured since age 12. He was born on March 13, 1944 in Detroit, MI, the son of Levi and Betty (Curtis) Balch.
Jerry graduated from Charlevoix High School, and then went on to attend North Central Michigan College in Petoskey taking classes in electrical and welding. He worked construction for Dick Way for seven years, and then for himself for another three. Jerry spent the next 30 years of his working life as the property manager at the Chicago Club in Charlevoix. He was able to fix just about any issue that arose and loved remodeling many of the cottages over the years. Being the longest serving manager, he retired in December, 2012.
As a young boy, he learned the value of a dollar and would save every penny from his paper route to buy model trains. With his imagination, he built towns and stations, and even a tunnel to the next bedroom to run his trains. He was a Boy Scout and Louie Edwards, Scout Master, was his mentor.
Anybody who knew Jerry, knew just how much he loved his classic cars, Chevys in particular. In adulthood, he spent countless hours at swap meets, auctions, races, and car shows, and had many classic Chevys in his own collection. He was a founding member of Street Legends Classic Car Club. In everything he did, he was a perfectionist; from his construction to his cars and everything in between, he made sure everything was done to the highest of standards.
He was a loving family man, and made sure he provided for them just what they needed. They took many family vacations that they will carry memories from for the rest of their lives. He was also able to pass on his knowledge of construction and cars to his two sons. He loved his classic country music, and he also liked to play guitar.
On August 27, 1966, he married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Joan (Louiselle) Balch, who survives. Also surviving are his two sons, Karl (Katrine) Balch of Charlevoix and Kevin Balch (Abigail Uhrick) of Charlevoix; two grandchildren, Katie Balch and Kyle Balch; and his beloved King Charles Cavaliers, Sadie and Bentley. He also leaves many loved nieces and nephews, and especially his car buddies.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, Robert Balch.
Funeral services will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 27, at Center Point Assembly of God in Charlevoix with Pastor Mike Way officiating. Visitation will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 26, also at the church, as well as from 10:00 a.m. on Friday until the time of services.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Center Point Assembly of God where Jerry was a member or the Charlevoix Area Humane Society.
Arrangements are in the care of the Charlevoix Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign his online guestbook at www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com