Joan Marie Bal
(Sunday - September 19, 2021 - 14:32) - Joan Marie Bal, age 87, of Norway, passed away on Wednesday, September 15, at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in Lakeway, Texas. Joan was born in Norway on February 19, 1934 to the late Leo and Marie (Sturm) Bertolini. After graduating from Norway High School in 1952, Joan worked for the Norway Current newspaper and print shop for about 4 years before joining wholesale grocery distributer Northland.

On April 22, 1961, Joan married Walter Paul Bal and moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While in Milwaukee, Joan raised their daughters serving as a Brownie leader and helping with their Girl Scout Troop.

In 1973, Wally accepted a temporary work assignment in Fort Walton Beach, Florida and off they went. During their year in Florida, Joan and Wally took up square dancing, with Joan using her sewing skills to make their costumes. In 1975 the family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. In Indianapolis, many hours were spent playing Euchre with their neighbors. As her daughters went off to college, Joan resumed her career working at Fulton Junior High School for 15 years.

Upon retirement, Joan & Wally returned home to Norway, Michigan. Joan was a member of St Mary's Catholic Church, the Women of St Mary's, the Women's Auxiliary for the American Legion Post 145, and the Norway Women's Club. She enjoyed knitting and crocheting making afghans for all members of the family. For the last 13 years, Joan was chairman of the Dickinson Area Community Foundation Walter Bal Scholarship. Joan's last few years were spent in Austin, Texas.

Joan possessed a fierce determination with all challenges she faced. She earned her honorary nursing degree taking care of Wally in his last years. She bravely faced her own decreasing mobility and eventual paraplegia. She was very proud of her daughters, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. In her last few years, Joan enjoyed eating out, Bingo, exercise class, visits with grandson Jon, and Face-time with granddaughter Katie & great-grandchildren Addison and Brianne.

Joan is survived by her daughters Linda Bal of Austin, Texas, and Diane (Larry) Frantz of Carmel, Indiana; grandchildren Katie (Josh) Tummers of Louisville, Kentucky and Jon Frantz of Fishers, Indiana; great grandchildren Addison & Brianne Tummers; In-Laws Bernice Bal, Marie Bal, Marie Devine, Patsy (William) Zanona, Marge Meneghini, Dorothy Manke, George (Betty) Bal and Helen Galleger; numerous special nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband Wally; her parents; brothers Leo Bertolini Jr., and Robert Bertolini; In-Laws John Bal, Joseph and Margie Bal, Edward Bal, Robert Devine, and Lee Meneghini.

Family suggest that memorial donations may be made in her memory to DACF, Norway Affiliate for the Walter Bal Scholarship, 220A East Hughitt St., Iron Mountain, MI. 49801.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, September 25 from 9:30 until 11 AM at St. Mary's Church in Norway.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday at 11:00 AM at St. Mary's Church with Fr. Martin Flynn officiating.

Interment will follow at the Norway Township Cemetery.

The Ortman Funeral Home of Norway is in charge of arrangements.