Henry J. “Fuzz” Bals, 93, passed on to his eternal home Aug. 21, 2021, at St Elizabeth’s hospital.
Henry was born at home on the farm in Crete to Anne (Smejkal) and Henry F Bals. He attended St James Catholic school and Crete High School, where he played football. At age 18, he joined the Navy after attending Doane College for one year, where he also played football. In the Navy, he worked in Washington, D.C., for one year then transferred to San Diego. He was on an aircraft carrier for one year in the South Pacific. After his discharge from the Navy, he returned to Doane College, where he majored in Social Studies. He became a member of the Alpha Omega fraternity. After one year at Doane College, he began working part time at the Crete Post Office. He completed all but four credit hours at Doane. He coached city rec softball, where he met the love of his life. On Aug. 4, 1951, Henry married Nadine Shandera at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Henry also coached Legion baseball. In 1957, his team won the state tournament. He refereed football and basketball, including the Shrine Game in 1967. He stopped refereeing when his own children started playing sports. In the late 1960s, he started working at College Heights Country Club as their greenskeeper, a job he enjoyed for many years. He helped build the golf course with Ron Douglas. Henry and Nadine taught all of their children how to play golf, which they enjoy to this day. He believed in staying active, especially outdoors. He liked golf courses, parks and the wilderness. He also did a lot of hunting. Henry retired from the post office in 1988 after 41 years of service. At the age of 80, Henry earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Doane College after completing the final four hours he lacked earlier. He valued education, loved his roses, and said his greatest accomplishment was “raising nine kids.” His priority was home and family, living a simple life. He was a kind and gentle man. He influenced and touched many lives, often giving the credit to his wife.
He was preceded in death by his wife; brothers, Jerome, Valarian, Leonard and Johnny Bals; sister-in-law, Mary Alice Bals. Henry was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Those left to cherish his memory are his children, Susan and Douglas Whitman, Patti and Roger Severson, Linda and Tim Edwards, Bill Bals and significant other, Ellen Gohlke, Judy and Steve Sinkule, Chris and Tom Schleich, Shelly and Kent Weilage, Lori Bals, Jimmy and Stacia Bals. He will be missed by 25 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Henry is also survived by his brother, Gene Bals; sister-in-law, Marlene Bals, also many nieces and nephews.
Henry requested no funeral due to Covid. A private family burial will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested to St James Catholic School or Crete Fire and Rescue Department or given to family in care of Patti Severson at 305 Fort Crook Road South, Apt 101, Bellevue, NE 68005. Condolences may be left for the family online at www.kunclfh.com.