Mary Ellen (Laird) Balzer was born September 8, 1935, in Strathroy Ontario. In a cloud of sparkles and sequins, our beautiful Mother went home to be with her precious Lord and Saviour on Christmas Day, 2021 at 86 years of age, where surely there will be a joyful reunion with the love of her life, Glen Balzer. Mary passed away peacefully surrounded by family. Her spirit will be carried on and remembered by her six children; Deborah (Stephen Adair), Catherine (Ivan Erb), Kelly (Julius Bere), Stephen (Jeanette Schlabach), Lori (David Otto), and Carter. Mary was “Gram” to nineteen grandchildren; Joshua Adair, Luke Adair (Carma), Rachel Adair, Zachary Adair, Jelithan Adair, Daniel Erb (Lindsay), Nathaniel Bere, Linton Bere (Donna), Keenan Bere (Krista), Aaron Balzer, Jordan Balzer (Holly), Jacob Balzer (Michelle), Matthew Balzer, Sarah Otto (Martin), McKenzie Otto, Truman Otto, Victoria Otto, Jarvis Otto, and Makani Balzer.  She had ten great-grandchildren; Caden Adair, Makaela Miscko, Brett Miscko, Vada Adair, Ethan Bere, Silas Bere, Harrison Bere, Madyson Bere, Noella Balzer, and Evelyn Balzer. Mary is also survived by her sisters Joan (Russell Johnson), and Lynn Feick, and in-laws Margaret Laird, Ruta Laird, Len Dunn, Lenore Tompkins, Wilma Meyerhoffer, Isabel (Ivan) Heidt, Kathleen (Ray) Strathdee, Kenneth Balzer (Sue), as well as a multitude of nieces and nephews who were dearly loved.  She was predeceased by her beloved husband Glen Otto Balzer (October 29, 2000), her parents Alexander Linton Laird, Iris (Bartlett) Laird Lewis, step-father Arthur Lewis, her siblings and their partners Don (Margaret), Elsie Tolhurst (Don), Jack (Edith), Ruth Bucholtz (Bill), Kenneth, Clare, Baby Raymond, Baby Catherine, Barbara, Baby Harold, Gwendolyn, Earl Feick, Mother and Father in-law Catherine (Rock) and Otto Balzer, sisters and brothers-in-law Ruth and Norman O’Donell, Alphonse Meyerhoffer, William Blanchard, Marion and Donald Soper, and Kenneth Tompkins.

Mary was a determined, loving, artistic woman who loved to sing and laugh, had a quick wit, enjoyed teaching Sunday school, entertaining, and she could put an amazing spread on her table with ease, turning the simplest ingredients into a fancy meal.  Most importantly she loved spending time with family.  She made friends easily wherever she went.  She loved babies and children, pretty things, and the beauty of the world around her. Mary was very talented and tried her hand at many projects, including beautiful porcelain dolls, paper toll, sewing, painting, and scrapbooking.  She loved Christmas time and was known for her amazing gift-wrapping skills, taking decorating to the next level! She was also known for her flair for fashion and loved anything that sparkled!  After our dad passed away, Mom in her mid sixties travelled to various European countries on mission trips and volunteered for a time in an orphanage in Bolivia. She loved Jesus and served Him faithfully and had a strong desire to share her faith with others. Mom taught her kids many life lessons of how to put family first, be a good parent, and about the joys of being in a beautiful loving marriage. She and Dad had an exceptional relationship that was an example to all who knew them. Mom taught her daughters how to be strong and compassionate women at a time in history when women were supposed to be subservient and taught her sons the importance of working hard and caring for others. Mary worked as a nurse until the early sixties, was at home with her family for many years, then also worked at Scholar’s Choice when her children were older. She worked at Rheo Thompsons Candies for a time and later, after over 30 years in Stratford, she and Glen moved to Sarnia to be superintendents of an apartment building, before moving to Port Franks. After Glen passed away, Mary enjoyed living in Forest and made many friends there.  Sadly, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and she gradually lost her abilities and memories.  She spent the last few years in London at Oak Crossing People Care where her needs were met by many kind and compassionate caregivers to whom we will always be thankful.

Due to Covid restrictions, visitation on Friday night has been cancelled and a private family service will be held on Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 11 a.m. Those who wish to join the family from home can do so by following view livestream under Mary’s obituary on the funeral home website. Memorial donations can be made in Mary’s memory to the Alzheimer Society of Perth County or Camp Mishewah (Evergreen Christian Ministries) through the funeral home. 519.271.7411

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      Stratford, Ontario N5A 5T7

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