Balzer Burckhard, the son of Lawrence and Martina (Sitter) Burckhard was born on October 26, 1923 on the family farm south of Towner, North Dakota. He died at the age of 90 years on December 28, 2013 at the Heart of America Care Center in Rugby, North Dakota.
Balzer was raised on the family farm and worked hard helping milk cows, raise cattle and pitch bundles on his dad’s threshing crew. He attended a country school southeast of Towner in Berwick Township. One of his fondest school memories was receiving a harmonica as a Christmas gift from one of his teachers. In 1948, he started independently farming and ranching. He had a great love for animals. His pride and joy was his team of horses, Babe and Queen. He spoke often of them. On November 6, 1950, he was united in marriage to Helen Deibert in Rugby. They began raising their family and continued farming and ranching until 1972, when they moved into the city of Towner. For a time, he worked for Oakley Evensvold doing carpentry and in 1976 the couple purchased J. Floyds Lounge and Package Store, changing the name to Burckhard’s Lounge. They owned and operated the small town bar until retiring in 1988. Helen died in 2010.
He was a lifelong member of St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Towner and was on the cemetery board for many years. He was a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters, served on the Parish Council, performed church maintenance and sang in the church choir. He loved to be the life of a party and was known for his love of music, particularly playing the accordion and harmonica. He enjoyed playing waltzes and polkas for all who wanted to have a good time. He even played the harmonica at his 90th birthday party, still loving to entertain. He will be deeply missed by his children and family.
Balzer is survived by his children, LeAnn (Peter) Smith of Bradenton, FL, Lenora (Paul) Dire of Detroit Lakes, MN, Karla (Randy) Anderson of Towner, Glenda (Mike) Salcido of Tulare, CA, Byron (Rynette) Burckhard of Minot, Blaine (Sonda) Burckhard of Surrey, and Terri Beth (Dave) Dufault of Boise, ID; eleven grandchildren, Karissa Newby, Tara (Dallas) Hager, Shane Anderson, Shawn (Jennifer) Anderson, Bethanie Burckhard, Kristin Burckhard, Andrew, Brent & Jacob Burckhard, Amanda (Coty) Wangen, Christopher Dufault; seven great-grandchildren, Rylah & Raegan Hager, Aubrey & Myles Anderson, Kinsley & Kambree Wangen, Ryken Dufault; siblings, Mike (Olivia) Burckhard, Catherine Boechler, Regina Klein and Mary Anna Klein; several nieces, nephews; other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his brothers, John, Tony, Joe and William; and his parents.
Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 3rd at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Towner with spring burial in the church cemetery. Father Michael Schommer, Celebrant.
Organist: Brianna Schwan
Soloists: Colleen Schwan; Terri Beth Dufault
Readers: Bryon Burckhard & Blaine Burckhard
Casket Bearers: Grandsons, Shane Anderson, Shawn Anderson, Brent Burckhard, Christopher Dufault, Andrew Burckhard, Jacob Burckhard
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Towner. Online registry: funeralsbyanderson.com.
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