Mary Ann Wahle Balch, 68, of Everman, Texas, was called home to her Lord on May 7, 2021, in the comfort of her home, surrounded by her family. Mary was born in Fort Worth, Texas to Neil and Aline Wahle and brother Ron.
Mary was a born leader. As a child, she earned the title, “Queen of Sara Jane Lane.” A life-long cheerleader, Mary was an Original Chap at O.D. Wyatt High School, a member of Kappa Delta Gamma in college, and proud supporter of her friends in all their endeavors. She loved spending time watching her children and eventually her grandchildren at every school function and sporting event she could possibly attend.
Mary met the love of her life, Gary Balch, at Forest Oak Junior High. They began dating as sophomores in high school. After 6 years of dating, Mary and Gary were married on July 7, 1973. They spent 47 years and 10 months as husband and wife, raising two sons, and remaining the best of friends all the while. There are simply no words to describe a love like theirs.
Mary was passionate about education! After earning her degree from the University of North Texas in just 3 years, Mary was an educator in the Everman ISD for 45 years. She was a classroom teacher for 26 years, teaching kindergarten, first, and fourth grades; served 12 years as an instructional specialist; and spent the final years of her career as the district dyslexia specialist. Her dedication to education and her community changed countless lives. Her legacy as an educator will live on through the colleagues she influenced through the years.
Mary also loved the Lord deeply. At the end of her life, she confidently told her family that she was not afraid of death, for she knew where she would be going. She was an active member of the Everman United Methodist Church. Over the years, she served as a Sunday School teacher, VBS director, liturgist, Lord’s Acre chairperson, Administrative Council secretary, member of the Priscilla Circle and Worship Committee, and even participated in the choir for a couple of years. One of her favorite church activities was helping with the Hangin’ Out program, which gives Everman High School students a safe place to go after school, providing them with meals and help with homework.
Mary’s greatest joy was her four grandchildren. While she loved watching all of their sporting events, she was most proud of their accomplishments and growth in school. Nana never missed a school awards ceremony. She read to them endlessly, was always available for the best tutoring sessions, made sure homework was completed, and gave them all such confidence to know they could do anything they set their minds to.
Mary will be remembered as a joyful person who loved to laugh until she cried. She was incredibly faithful, determined, positive, loving, compassionate, loyal, and a friend to all. She radiated light, had spirit to spare, and for so many people she was their go-to person. She was grace and beauty, with a bit of silly mixed in. We will love her always and think of her with every sunset we see.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Neil and Aline; brother, Ron; fathers-in-law, Willie T. Balch and Raymond Barber; and mother-in-law Bonnie Sadler Balch Barber. What a joyful reunion they must all be having now! She is survived by her loving husband, Gary Balch; son Marcus Balch, his wife Christie, and their children Witten, Andon, and Liam; son Garrett Balch, his wife Constance, and their daughter Kelsee; sister-in-law Connie McRay; niece Keli Cotten, her husband Brandon, and their children Brody and Braylee; nephew Reed Wahle, his wife Shelly, and their children Grant and Gracie; niece Vanessa Eberle, her husband Craig, and their children Alec, Erin and Tori; and numerous other family and friends.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 3:00pm at the Gary T. Balch Ballpark located behind Everman High School at 1003 Dan Meyer Drive, Everman, Texas 76140, with Pastor Quinton Gibson officiating. A private burial will follow. The family will receive guests after the burial at 5:00pm at the Everman High School B.C. Puryear Gymnasium.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Mary’s name to the Everman Education Foundation at 1520 Everman Parkway, Fort Worth, Texas 76140, or to the Everman United Methodist Church Hangin’ Out Program at P.O. Box 40825, Everman, Texas 76140.