James M. Balmes
James M. “Jim” Balmes, 94, passed away on April 21, 2015. He was born March 15, 1921 in Wilmette, IL to Joseph and Theresa [Pestka] Balmes. Raised in Wadsworth, IL, he attended St. Anastasia Grade School and Warren Township High School. Jim served his country stateside in the Army Air Corps 1941-1944. After having met her in high school, he married Lois Potter April 15, 1944 at St. Patrick’s Church in Wadsworth. After the war, they settled in Gurnee, IL to raise their six children. Jim worked as a bookkeeper for Gurnee V & S Hardware then obtained his IRS certificate and became a tax accountant for the Illinois Hardware Association. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing horseshoes, both which he did into his 90’s. As an active member of St. Gilbert’s Church, Grayslake, IL, he belonged to the Holy Name Society and the St. Vincent DePaul Society. Jim and Lois remained loyal to the Warren Township High School athletic teams and Jim served on the school board. They volunteered many hours to both the Lake County Historical Society and the Lake County Museum. In his retirement years, Jim returned to his grade school as a volunteer for the St. Anastasia Outreach Program. Jim is survived by his children Dianne [Lanny] Cummings, Janet [Dick] Sleyster, Pat Balmes, Ed Balmes, Charlie [Kathy] Balmes and Nancy [Russ] Panzarella. He is also survived by his grandchildren Heather [Ron] Kaufmann, Keith Cummings, Rich, Dave [Jen] and Darin [Kristy] Sleyster, Anne [Nate] Timmons, Nick [Elena], Mary, James, CJ, Nicole and Eric Balmes, Stacy [Chris] Hutchcraft, Brad and Alli Panzarella; great grandchildren Daniel Kaufmann, Kayleigh and Breccan Sleyster, Owen, Isaiah, Eli and Evelyn Timmons, Dylan Hutchcraft and soon to arrive William Balmes. He is also survived by his siblings Mark Balmes, Theresa Crowley and MaryAnn Grum. He was preceded in death by wife, Lois, his parents, and siblings John, Fran, Bill, Fred, Aggie and Dick. Visitation will be May 1, 2015, at 8:30 am followed by 9:30 am Funeral Mass at the historic St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Wadsworth, IL. Internment at Ascension Cemetery will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lake County Historical Society, the Lake County Museum, Addolorata Villa or the charity of your choice.