Cover photo for John Milner Balzhiser's Obituary
John Milner Balzhiser Profile Photo
1945 John 2023

John Milner Balzhiser

March 24, 1945 — October 8, 2023

John Milner Balzhiser, 78, a hardworking and committed husband and father, passed away on October 8, 2023, surrounded by family. He was born in Chicago to Milner and Mildred (nee Harkness/Stadt) Balzhiser in March 1945, spent most of his childhood in Tinley Park, and, then, three years after graduating from Bremen Community High School, he and Betty (nee Meyer) began their own family there. They spent the last 29 years in New Lenox.


He is survived by his devoted wife of 58 years, Betty; three loving children: Deborah, John, and Robert; as well as by daughter-in-law, Michele (nee Meier); grandchildren, Daniel and Alex (nee West/Rakoski); great grandchildren, Eleanor Rakoski and Benjamin Jeslis; sister-in-law, Kathleen Balzhiser; brother-in-law, Richard Meyer; nieces, April Balzhiser and Tracy (Meyer) Simons; nephew, Richard Stadt; even more extended family members; and innumerable friends.


John turned his curiosity, especially about how things work, into a career as a mechanic, parts manager, service manager, and body shop manager across the Jack O’Donnell, Arrow, and Rizza Chevrolet dealerships. His skills were sharp. He could make a small block Chevy, a big block Chevy, and a Chrysler Hemi run better than the factory. His vision was long. Throughout a decade, he patiently restored his own 1932 Ford Coupe and built a whole model railroad layout, with features of Chicago neighborhoods and its train yards, even before anything made it onto boards. He was admirably resilient and uncomplaining.


In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his siblings Patricia Stadt, Robert, Shirley, William, and Paul.


Visitation will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 6850 West 159th Street, Tinley Park, IL 60477 on Saturday, October 14, 2023, from 9:00-11:00 am.


In lieu of flowers, consider a memorial to the University of Wisconsin Division of Nephrology or the Multiple Sclerosis Society.





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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, October 14, 2023

9:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, October 14, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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Interment

Saturday, October 14, 2023

12:00 - 12:30 pm (Central time)

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