Cover photo for Larry E. Balch's Obituary
Larry E. Balch Profile Photo
1944 Larry 2023

Larry E. Balch

January 12, 1944 — January 9, 2023


It was on a cold day on January 12, 1944, that a wonderful soul came into the world, Larry Earlen Balch. Unfortunately, it is again a cold January day that he was called from this life; January 9, 2023.

Larry was born to Dale and Evon Balch (preceded in death) in Kalamazoo, MI. Eight years later he became a big brother (his proudest moment in his words) to Karen (Balch) Bailey (of Portage, MI). He is also survived by his favorite niece and nephew, Stacy (Bailey) Cross and Michael Cross (of Chapel Hill, NC), and favorite grand-niece Olivia Cross. He has many beloved cousins as well.

Starting in 1963, Larry spent his whole career at Durametallic and was lucky enough to retire early in 2000. He made many long-lasting friends and participated in many groups such as volleyball, broom hockey, bowling leagues and tournaments. After his retirement, he enjoyed monthly breakfasts with work friends.

He spent many days and weekends with his dad gardening, and mowing lawns/snowplowing for people in the community. Larry always went out of his way to help and even took some of his older customers to and from appointments to help them out.

He also enjoyed the sport of bowling and spent many vacation days playing mini golf.  He loved hockey games (HUGE Red Wing fan) and went with his buddies to the races. Many a vintage car show attracted his attention and his time. His own favorite cars were a 1969 SuperBee and his iconic 1972 orange and white Blazer.

He was a very quiet person and relished just being in the company of loved ones without the spotlight. Most photographs instead show him in the background where he was most comfortable. However, with his friends, he was much more animated and outgoing—a side only the best saw.

He was the ultimate family man; driving the motorhome down to Florida and back every summer, driving it to campgrounds for fall camping, playing pretend and games with his nieces, and helping the family enjoy Walt Disney World.

He was more than an uncle, more than a brother, more than a son—he was genuine, kind, and generous. He co-signed on his niece’s first house and even came running every time she called because she saw a mouse.

Larry would always say he didn’t want to get another dog, but when one inevitably showed up, he would always become the dog’s favorite human. Dogs know better than people when they meet a wonderful person.

The hole Larry has left is wide, but all the great memories he generated will more than fill it for anyone who knew him.

A huge thank you to his doctors, Bronson Hospital, Hospice Nurses and StoryPoint family—all help was greatly appreciated.

A visitation is planned for Friday, January 13, 1:00-3:00pm, at Langeland Family Funeral Home, 411 East Centre, Portage, MI 49002, and a graveside service is planned for Saturday, January 14, 10:00am, at Mt. Ever-Rest Cemetery Chapel (Kalamazoo). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to the Michael J. Fox Foundation Fund for Parkinson’s Research. To view Larry’s personalized webpage please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Larry E. Balch, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, January 13, 2023

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services

411 East Centre Avenue, Portage, MI 49002

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Saturday, January 14, 2023

10:00 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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