James Balsley 2019

James Hanson Balsley, Jr., of Winterset, passed away peacefully with his wife at his side, the evening of June 14, 2019, while in hospice care at the Des Moines Veterans Hospital. Jim was born on May 30, 1947, in Berkeley, CA to James Hanson Balsley, Sr. and Harriett Frances (Kelly) Balsley. Jim was a Vietnam Veteran and served in the Army from November 1966 until November 1968, being awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. He most wanted to be remembered for his 29 years sobriety; his sponsor, Mark, was his best friend and like a brother to him. Jim was a spray painter for Western Electric for 26 years, until moving to Iowa in 2009. He was a talented painter, enjoyed building models, liked Western movies and loved spending time in his man caves. He inherited the Irish gift of gab and had many stories to tell of growing up in the SF Bay Area in the 1960’s and his experiences in life. A loving husband and father, he was always willing to help friends, family and persons in need. When his son went into the Army, Jim joined Operation Mom and remained active in the group even after the loss of his son. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, son Michael Christopher Balsley (killed in Iraq), and his daughter, Charmel Marie Hill. He is survived by his wife, Diane Balsley, son, James (Cynthia) Balsley III, stepchildren Regina (Steve) Lackey, Rachel (Eusebio) Salinas, Sarah (Mike) Clarke and Joel (Anna) Plante, Jr. and his many grandchildren. Jim will be interred at Lone Tree Cemetery in Hayward, CA, at a later date. To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of James Balsley, please visit our Tribute Store.

Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of James Balsley 2019.

Des Moines Cremation

Death notice for the town of: Des Moines, state: Iowa

death notice James Balsley 2019

obituary notice James Balsley 2019

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Sympathies message

  1. I am sad to read of Jim’s passing! I had the pleasure to work with, and become acquainted with Jim in the early 1990s, while working at the Hayward Daily Review, where Jim had been hired as a member of the maintenance team for the composing room. While working with Jim, we became friends and he shared with me some of the stories of his life in Berkeley and his time in Vietnam, as well as his experiences upon returning to the States in the midst of the growing anti-war movement. I have not seen Jim in nearly 30 years, but he has always remained in my memories as a great and generous spirit.


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