August 7th, 1940 – August 16th, 2023
Michael Anthoney Balasa was born in South Bend, Indiana to Andrew and Stephanie (Deguc) Balasa. When he turned 18, he joined the army and traveled throughout Europe where he developed his love of French Cooking. He was well known for his delicious fresh-out-of-the oven French Bread which the family dubbed “Daddy Bread.”
When he returned from the army, he met Carol Kaiser, his loving wife of 58 years. In 1968, he welcomed a little daughter named Suzanne. He earned his Doctor of Education at Ball State University and later worked as an administrator for the Tahoma School District in Maple Valley, Washington.
In 1992, his daughter came out as gay. This started a chain of events, and in 1993, he and Carol marched in their first Pride Parade and worked tirelessly from then on out for LGBTQ civil rights.
His inspiring words touched so many people and he was the ultimate PFLAG dad. He was so proud when his daughter married Kim Dieruf.
He was also extremely proud to have officiated the wedding of his grandson, Joseph Dieruf to Sarah (Poplawski) Dieruf.
Music was one of his passions. He enjoyed opening nights at the opera and could often be heard singing show tunes with his family.
His great big heart and mischievous sense of humor will be missed by so many. He was not religious but had a deep spirituality and felt that someday we may just meet again.
To a beautiful man with a heart of gold, our love will follow you forever.
Mike was preceded in death by his brother, Andrew Balasa, and is survived by his sister Connie Heminger of Buchanan, MI, his wife Carol, daughter Suzanne Dieruf, daughter-in-law Kim Dieruf, grandchildren Joseph and Sarah (Poplawski) Dieruf plus many wonderful nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Donations in Michael Balasa's honor can be made to Safe Schools Desert Communities at https://safeschoolsdc.org