Funeral services for James Balden, 91 year old Buffalo man who passed away quietly at Amie Holt Care Center early Monday morning, will be held, Monday, November 12, at 10:00 a.m. from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Buffalo with Father Douglas Wasinger officiating. Visitation will be held from the Adams Funeral Home Chapel on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Graveside services will be held in the Willow Grove Cemetery with Military and Masonic rights. Donations in Mr. Balden’s memory may be made to the Kalif Shrine of Sheridan in care of the Adams Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo.
James Frederick Balden was born on May 26, 1921 to Jack and Lily Balden in their home in North Buffalo, Wyoming. He grew up and attended his first five years of school in Midwest Wyoming where his dad was employed in the oil fields. The family moved back to Buffalo and James finished grade school and then went on to graduate from Johnson County High School in 1939. While in high school Jim was a long distance runner lettering all four years. After high school he went to Oakland, California working at different jobs learning the welding trade. He then went to work in the ship yards and worked there until 1942 when he was enlisted in the Army Air Corps where he served three and a half years receiving an Honorable Discharge. James returned back to Wyoming and enrolled in the University of Wyoming. In August of 1948 James married Thelma Greitl and then continued on to get his Civil Engineering degree in 1950. After graduating from the University of Wyoming he went to work for Peter Kiewit and Sons Company on the Garrison Dam in North Dakota. This led to many jobs moving from state to state including the Atomic Energy Project in Ohio, Monticello Dam in California, the Illinois Toll Road in Chicago, Flaming Gorge in Utah, Hells Canyon Dam in Idaho, cement plants and missile sites in South Dakota. This eventually led them to Spokane where James retired from heavy construction. James and Thelma lived along Hangman Creek for 27 years where they had a large garden growing vegetables and fruit. The couple also had a small orchard that yielded apples, plums, cherries and peaches. He also enjoyed working with wood where he repaired antique furniture. James tackled numerous large projects like repairing a large walnut mirror and building and repairing a huge old clock case that measured four by six feet. He was a very patient man when it came to doing something with wood. James and Thelma moved back to Buffalo in 2002 where he continued living in Buffalo until the time of his death.
James was a member of the Masonic Anchor Lodge No. 7 of Buffalo, Wyoming and had a dual membership in the Manito Lodge in Spokane, Washington where in 1999 he was Master of Manito Lodge. He was also a member of the Shriners.
He is survived by his wife Thelma of Buffalo, Wyoming; one sister, Helen Crain and her husband Ed of Buffalo, Wyoming, one brother, Norman Balden and his wife Ester of Buffalo, Wyoming one brother in law Hank Greitl of Dillon, Montana and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, three brothers, and several nieces and nephews.