Francis R. Balk

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Francis R. Balk, 91, of Belvidere, Ill., formerly of Prairie du Chien, died peacefully on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, at Northwood Care Center in Belvidere. 

Francis was born July 25, 1929, in Prairie du Chien, to Joseph and Anna (Schmucker) Balk. He served in the Army during the Korean Conflict. In 1959, Francis moved his family to Illinois. They lived in the Belvidere/Rockford area where he worked and retired from Greenlee Bros. He enjoyed working with his hands, whether gardening, fixing up houses, working on cars and other equipment, or making thin pancakes and other sweets in the kitchen. He always loved a good joke. Francis loved spending time with his family. For the little ones, he always had a smile, a tease, and a folded dollar bill in the palm of his hand. 

Francis is survived by his two daughters, Cindy (James) Osenga of Janesville, and Cheryl (Robert) McDowall of Homosassa, Fla.; his grandchildren, Kathryn (Jason) Thoms, Matthew (Jennie) Osenga of Janesville, and Tyler McDowall of Mt. Zion, Ill.; six great-grandchildren, and two great-great-granddaughters. He also leaves behind a sister, Mary Thompson; sister-in-law, Lois Balk; and many nieces and nephews. 

He is preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Ann aka “Skip” (Art) Schmitt; brothers, Joseph Balk, Arnold (Lois) Balk, James Balk, Richard Balk, Henry Balk; brother-in-law, Michael Thompson; and his ex-spouse, Beverly A. Dremmel.

A family graveside service at Calvary Cemetery, Prairie du Chien, will be held. Memorials can be made to Smile Train, Mayo Clinic, St. Jude’s or charity of your choice. Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, of Prairie du Chien, is assisting the family with arrangements.

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