William J. “Willie” Balchus

Willie BalchusWilliam J. “Willie” Balchus, age 92 formerly of South West Street, Shenandoah passed away Wednesday December 11, 2013 in Yuba City, California where he was currently residing with his son, Joseph “Sherman” Balchus and his wife, Brenda for the past eight years.

Born in Shenandoah on October 15, 1921 he was the son of the late Joseph and Elizabeth Zitkus Balchus.

Mr. Balchus was a decorated US Army World War II Veteran.  He was one of eleven Prisoners of War who escaped being burned to death by Japanese guards at the Puerto Princesa Prison Camp.  Nearly one hundred forty POWs lost theirs lives at what became known as the Palawan Massacre.  He was a recipient of the Purple Heart as well as the Philippines Liberation Ribbon, the American Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Good Conduct Medal and the Philippines Defense Ribbon.

Purple HeartWillie was a member of St. Stanislaus Church, Shenandoah.  He was an avid fisherman and thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors in Pennsylvania and California.

Preceding him in death in addition to his parents were his wife, the former Helen M. Wisniewski in 1989 and six sisters.

Surviving in addition to his son and daughter-in-law are one daughter, Carole Oshman of Stewartsville, NJ; six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Prayer and scripture services will be held Saturday 11:00 a.m. at Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah.  Rev. Msgr. Ronald C. Bocian, Pastor will officiate.  Interment with military honors will follow in Our Lady of Fatima Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights.

Relatives and friends may call Saturday at the funeral home from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, Shenandoah is in charge of the arrangements.

William J. “Willie” Balchus Has 7 Condolences Posted:

  1. Linda and John Morrison says:

    Well “POPS”, we will truly miss you. Knowing you 20 some years we all sure had some fun. You were at the top of the Best Fishermen list at Loveys here in California. Joe and family really had a fishing buddy in you. We will always remember and we still say to this day of your saying when a fish is caught that’s not so big (by Joe) or the big female you say..”LET EM GO JOE, LET EM GO JOE” your voice will always be heard.
    Happy Fishing Pops
    Linda and John Morrison

  2. Nettie says:

    Uncle Willie you were my second dad. Love you and will miss you. Thank you for being there when I needed someone. You are now at peace and free from all pain . You deserve the best and Im sure you are being rewarded for your generosity you showed everyone and all the love you gave to all of us.

  3. Arlene & Charlie Vascavage says:

    Uncle Willie, you were like a father to us more than an Uncle. We will miss the great times we had together here in Shenandoah, our supper bowl trips and our California trip. Your Love you gave us will stay in our hearts forever. You will be missed by everyone’s life you touched. Love & Miss You

  4. Gary and JoAnn Dusky says:

    To all the Balchus family we send our sympathy in the loss of Willie. You all should be proud of the service he gave to our country. We were privileged to visit with him for many years when he attended the ATT Pioneers Fish Derby in Meridian. I can see him now with a fish or two in his hand standing by the weigh in table. Joe and Chelsea by his side. He will be missed by many. God bless. JoAnn and Gary Dusky

  5. Dad, there just aren’t words to express how I feel right now. Love, pride, joy in what you were as a father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle; oh, you know what I mean. You were always there for all of us when we needed you. Miss you. Luv, Carole (Carol)

  6. Dad, there just aren’t the words to convey my feelings for you. Love. pride, joy; they aren’t good enough to express how I felt about you, the person, the father, the grandfather the great grandfather, the uncle; oh, you get the idea. Everyone who needed you didn’t have to ask–you were just always there for all of us. Miss you. Luv, Carole (Carol)

  7. Joe Balchus says:

    Dad you were always their when someone was in need. You were the best father, grandpa and uncle anyone could ask for. All your family and friends will miss you. You spread your love and friendship across many States. You can now rest, from the pain. LOVE YOU YOUR SON AND FISHING BUDDY. JOE