MARGARET BERNIECE BALCH
Margaret Berniece Balch was born Oct. 10, 1919, to Theron (Jim) & Agnes Nelson Balch on the Balch Homestead, west of Formoso, Kan., in Jewell County. Margaret went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Friday, August 30, 2019, at Cloud County Health Center, Concordia, Kan., at the age of 99.
Margaret grew up on the family farm, southeast of Montrose, Kan., and attended grade school at Rockdale School Dist. 38. She was an admitted tomboy and loved riding horses, being outside and playing with her little brother, George. Margaret graduated from Montrose Rural High School, Montrose, Kan., in 1937. That fall Margaret married Paul D. McCorkle in the Methodist Parsonage in Mankato, Kan. The marriage ended in divorce in 1946.
During WWII, Margaret lived in Formoso, working as a teller in the First National Bank and as a relief telephone operator for the Formoso Telephone Company.
In 1946, she moved to Mankato, Kan., and took a job with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company as a switchboard operator. When Southwestern Bell made the change from operator assisted calling to direct dialing, she transferred to the Beloit office and eventually moved to Concordia in 1964, where she worked until she retired in 1981 after 35 years of service. On most weekends, Margaret traveled from Concordia to her family’s farm in Jewell County to assist her aging parents and visit her brother and his family.
Margaret stayed busy and enjoyed her retirement years, taking vacations with friends and family.
Always being very active and able, she did her own yard work until she moved to assisted living at the age of 92. Margaret was a community volunteer for over 25 years in the Concordia American Cancer Society; helped organize the Door-to-Door Campaign for the Arthritis Foundation; was an officer and member of the Concordia Business & Professional Women’s Club; the Concordia AARP; Mid-Kan Telephone Group; Christian Women’s Group & the Montrose Community Club. Margaret also volunteered with the Resource Center in Concordia, the Food Bank & the Red Cross Bloodmobile.
Margaret was a faithful member of the Concordia Wesleyan Methodist Church, attending until she moved to assisted living. She was an active member of the Women’s Prayer Fellowship Group and remained so after her move in 2012 to Marquis Place. Margaret quickly became involved in the weekly activities. Her favorites were church services, walking, exercise class and visiting with others. When she visited her family, she took particular delight in beating her nephews and great-nephews at games of electronic darts, Battleship, pool or any other game that was being played.
Margaret especially enjoyed attending the Montrose High School Alumni banquet to reminisce with her dear childhood friends, Ruth Holdren & Doris Jean Keeler.
Margaret was preceded in death by her stillborn son; her parents, Jim & Agnes Balch; her brother, George T. Balch and his wife, Nadine Stangle Balch & two nephews, George T. Balch, Jr. & Larry Dean Balch.
Those who mourn her passing are her nephews & nieces: Barbara San (Luke), Puyallup, Wash.; Robert Balch (Jackie), Woodward, Okla.; Greg Balch (Lynette), Woodward, Okla.; Janet Pope (Larry), Coalgate, Okla; Sheryl Raphael (Bill), Mustang, Okla.; great-nephews & nieces: Wesley San (Joann), Puyallup, Wash.; Wendy San, Portland, Ore.; Justin Pope (Randi), Ada, Okla.; Garrett Balch (Karla), Oklahoma City, Okla.; Ryan Balch (Keelie), Woodward, Okla.; Brian Pope (Miranda), Coalgate, Okla. & Hunter Raphael, Mustang, Okla.; great-great-nephews & nieces: Aubrey & Kollyns Pope, Karsyn & Kami Woods & Theron, Colton, Talon San, Kerzie Balch, Courtney Reese & Carryn Williams and many other family members, friends and acquaintances who were blessed to have known Margaret.
Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 6, 2019, at the Concordia Wesleyan Church with Rev. David Redmond and Pastor Bob Burns officiating. Burial will follow at the Balch Cemetery, Formoso, Kan. Visitation will be from 1-8 p.m. with family greeting friends from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, September 5, 2019, at Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home, Concordia, Kan. It was Margaret’s wishes that in lieu of flowers, memorials would be made to the Concordia Wesleyan Church Youth Group, a mission that was dear to her. For online condolences, please visit www.chaputbuoy.com. Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home, PO Box 606, Concordia, KS is in charge of the arrangements.