Jannette Henry Balke passed into the loving arms of our Lord on April 16, 2018. At her passing, she was surrounded by her loving husband and family.
Jannette Henry was born in Troup, Texas on May 2, 1934 to Annette and Horace Henry. Eldest of six daughters, Jannette spent most of her childhood in Sherman, Texas. Jannette went to Texas State College for Women and later University of Texas, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music. At “Tessie” she met her husband-to-be Bennie Kuno Balke. They married on June 16, 1954 and enjoyed nearly 64 years of marriage. Together they raised three children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. During Ben’s working career for Shell Oil, they lived in five states and overseas in Australia and the Netherlands. They traveled extensively visiting over 30 countries and enjoyed many long lasting friendships. Ben and Jan retired in 1991 to Niwot, Colorado. There, Jan was active in the choir of First United Methodist Church of Boulder, Bell Choir, and the Boulder Music Festival. In 2016, they moved to Bryan, Texas, to be closer to their children.
Jannette loved music. She played clarinet in the Sherman High School band. After graduating from college, she taught piano for many years. She later went back to school, obtained a music-teaching certificate from University of Houston, and taught in the Spring School District for many years. She loved to play piano, both solo and duets. Their house in Niwot was always filled with the sounds of music. Jannette’s energy was boundless and her smile ever present.
Jannette was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Kathy Dommer. She is survived by her husband, Ben, her sisters: Helen Buster, Joan Bedlington, Gail Parks, Kay Silva; her son Nathan Balke and wife Charlotte, her son Kevin Balke and wife Nancy, her daughter Vanessa Cunningham and husband Jim; grandchildren Phillip Balke (wife, Ali), Jessica Cunningham, Rebecca Strayer (husband, Ryan), Daniel Balke (wife, Anne), Rachel Balke, Matthew Cunningham, and Brian Balke; great-grandchildren Evan and Henry Strayer.
Services will be held at First United Methodist Church in Bryan, Texas, on Friday, April 20. Public viewing is from 11am – 12pm, Funeral Service at 12pm, and Reception at 1pm. There will be a 2:30 pm graveside service at Aggie Field of Honor. Memorial contributions can be made to First United Church of Boulder, the Colorado Music Festival at www.comusic.org/support-us, or the charity of your choice.