David Carl Balderson, 76, of Pharr, TX, passed away peacefully on December 12, 2022, after a long battle with lung cancer.
Dave was born on September 5, 1946, in Omaha, NE, and adopted by Lillian and Carl Balderson. After Dave graduated from Wichita East High School, he worked in maintenance for over 40 years at different companies, including Case New Holland. He was a plant fireman for Cessna Aircraft Co.
Dave joined the United States Navy on June 11, 1965, and served active duty for four years. He was stationed on several ships including USS Davidson and USS Vogelsang. Dave was in Halifax, Nova Scotia, South America, and twenty-two other countries while on active duty. He then transferred to the Naval Reserve in 1970. He was assigned to Readiness Command 22, in Olathe, KS, the headquarters for all Navy Reserves in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Dave had a total of 27 years total service and retired from the Navy on January 1, 1992, as a Senior Chief Machinist Mate E8. Dave frequently pointed out that the Navy taught him the value of discipline, teamwork, and investing in a cause larger than himself. He loved to joke about how he “had to” go to Hawaii nearly every year because somebody had to do it.
In 1968, Dave married Beverley Hill and had two children, Brian and Nicole. Dave married Nona Breashers in May 1998 and she passed away in 2001. In 2002, Dave married Sally Torres, who brought two stepdaughters into the family, Michelle and Tiffany. After Dave’s retirement, Dave and Sally began traveling to the south and spending more and more time as Winter Texans. They moved full-time to Texas in 2015.
With the encouragement of his children, he began searching for his biological family. After two years of searching, he met his biological siblings in 2018. This event was something that he truly loved going through.
Dave was a Past Commander of VFW Post 3115. After he earned the title of Master Mason, he joined the Midian Shriner’s in Wichita, KS, and was involved in different aspects of the organization. This connection was made even more special since his grandson, Taylor, was a Shriner’s kid who received assistance at Chicago Shriner’s Hospital for many years.
Dave was predeceased by his parents, Lillian and Carl Balderson, Phyllis Fletcher, spouse Nona Breasher Balderson, stepdaughter Michelle Towne, and grandson Taylor Chavez.
Dave is survived by his loving wife, Sally Balderson, son Brian (and Cheryl) Balderson, daughter Nicole (and Adam) Martinez, stepdaughter Tiffany (and Jason) Fry; and grandchildren Taylor Balderson, Casey McCoy, Hailey McCoy, Jordan Martinez, Jayden Martinez, Elizabeth Towne, Brent Towne, Michael Starrett, Matthew Towne, Christian Towne, Alexander Starrett, six great-grandchildren, and biological siblings Cathy Bahmiller, Dan (Connie) Fletcher, Patty (Rick) Byrne.
His children will plan a memorial service for Spring 2023. Instead of flowers, we request donations to The Tunnel to Towers Foundation in Memory of David Balderson, 2361 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, New York 10306, or T2T.org, or by calling 718-987-1931.