Norman A. (Tommy) Balden

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Funeral Services for Tommy Balden, of Buffalo, who passed through the veil into eternity in the early morning hours of March 21, 2014, just eight days short of his 86th birthday, will be held Thursday March 27th at 10:00 a.m. the LDS Church in Buffalo with Bishop Kade Caturia officiating. Visitation will be held at the Harness Funeral Home Chapel on Wednesday from 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Interment in Willow Grove Cemetery will immediately follow the funeral with the American Legion and VFW in charge of Military Graveside Rites. Donations in Mr. Balden’s memory may be made to the Jim Gatchell Museum in care of the Harness Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo. Condolences may be left at
Norman Alexander (Tommy) Balden was born in Midwest, Natrona County, Wyoming, on March 29, 1928, the seventh of the eight children born to John (Jack) and Elizabeth Alice Grills Rice (Lily) Balden. He grew up and received his education in Buffalo, Wyoming, where he attended Johnson County High School. Following his older brother’s examples, he entered the military after World War II. It was during his training at Weaver Air Force Base near Rapid City, South Dakota, that he met and married Beverly Jean Musekamp. Their first child, Wilma Jean Balden, was born at the Weaver Air Force Base hospital. After returning from service in Japan, they went to Chicago, Illinois, for job training. Their second child, John Albert Balden, was born while they were in Chicago. They had moved back to Rapid City, South Dakota when their third child, Richard Thomas Balden, was born. The last of their four children, Donald George Balden, was born in Buffalo, Wyoming. Much of Tommy’s working career was spent in the oilfields all over Wyoming and Montana. His marriage to Beverly ended in 1964 while living in Montana and he moved back to Wyoming. There he met and married Eula Mae Watts Brooks. She had two children Laurel and Elaine who joined his family. After 38 years of marriage, Mae passed away in 2003. He moved back to Buffalo where he met and married Esther Grace Shambaugh in 2005. Despite his struggles with health, these last eight years have been the happiest of his life.
Tommy is survived by his wife, Esther Balden of Buffalo; one daughter Jean Kenney and her husband Richard of Buffalo; three sons John Balden and his wife Rose Ann who are missionaries in Chile, South America, Richard Balden and his wife Pam of Kansas City, Kansas and Donald Balden of Sparks, Nevada; his youngest sister Helen Crain and her husband Ed of Buffalo; his first wife Beverly Hufford of Sacramento, California; eighteen grandchildren and forty-three great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his two older sisters Martha Knighten, and Elizabeth Griffith, all four of his brothers, John (Pete), William, Robert and James Balden, his second wife, and two step children.