Henry Balsiger Jr.


Henry Lee “Hank” Balsiger Jr., of White Salmon, had a sudden, unexpected cardiac event, and died painlessly at his home, on May 31, 2019.

Hank was born Aug. 10, 1941, in White Salmon, to Henry and Pauline (Hearn) Balsiger.

He attended grade school in Bingen and graduated from Columbia High School in, 1959.

Hank served in the United States Navy from 1962 to 1968. He, and his brother Joe, both served on the same ship, the USS Kitty Hawk during Vietnam.

After his military service, Hank started his 36-year career in the airline industry. He retired in 2003 and moved back to White Salmon.

Hank enjoyed family, friends, photography, history, traveling, walks, swimming, visits with neighbors, square dancing, stomping grapes, being an official pie taster, tumbling rocks, and so much more.

He was a member with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, involved with the Gorge Quilters, and a big supporter of the White Salmon/Bingen pool.

Hank also had a vision and a passion to preserve family history. So many will benefit from the timeless efforts he spent, over many years. The West Klickitat County Historical Society, alone, has over 750,000 pictures that he scanned for the museum.

He inspired many with his vision, showing purpose, along with the willingness, and time to follow through. The work he started will never end, for the example he set, and the inspiration he gave to all.

Hank is survived by his long-time pet and close friend, Mr. Bones; daughter, Julie (Balsiger) Owen of Iowa, and son, Neal Talman of California; sister Phillis (Balsiger) Bacon of Arizona; five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Joe Balsiger and Ray Hearn; and his wife of 29 years, Linnie Rae “Jonni” Talman/Balsiger.

Hank wasn’t just a father, husband, brother, uncle, grandpa, he was also a great, dependable, solid friend, to many. His children ask, that you celebrate their Dad’s life in your own way, by the example he set, and the friendship and inspiration he shared with all. Perhaps taking a picture of something that brings you peace, happiness, and then share it with others, to bring them joy, would be quite appropriate.

We believe Dad would hope that you will do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for a neighbor, a friend, someone you don’t even know, but know they would benefit from it. Step out, visit a local museum, recognize the history of your surroundings, and donate, in your own way, to that museum. Think about how all that history got there, and what you could do, to keep the knowledge alive for future generations.

A service, memorial, interment, will be held in White Salmon on Aug. 10, 2019. Details will be provided at a later date.

“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”. – Some famous writer

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