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The Villages
Friday, March 24, 2023

David Jon Balkansky

David Jon Balkansky
David Jon Balkansky

David Jon Balkansky, 85, passed away peacefully on February 3, 2023, at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, following a short, but valiant battle with cancer. At the time of death, his loving daughters were at his side.

David was born on May 10, 1937, to Bebe Sarah (Bahcall) Balkansky and Bernard Balkansky in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. As a youth, he regularly enjoyed summer sessions at Camp Indianola in Madison, Wisconsin. Following graduation from Lincoln High School, David attended Northwestern University. He transferred to the New York Institute of Photography and spent the next eight years in New York City. Following graduation from NYIP, he accepted a job with ABC Freight Forwarding Company, serving in a variety of capacities. He was a devotee of Broadway musicals, the arts, and was active in several political campaigns including those of Eisenhower, Nixon, Rockefeller and Javits.

Moving back to Wisconsin, he worked in sales for Lappin Electric Supply in Milwaukee. In his spare time, he became an advisor for a boys’ program of Jewish youth, where he met his future wife, Judy Riches, who was a girls’ program advisor. They were married on September 3, 1967, and lived happily for forty-eight years until Judy’s death. David was recruited by Lightolier, a major lighting fixture manufacturer, and served as their area sales representative, until he was sought by Milch Interstate Electric Supply of Racine. While in Racine, their daughter Leslie was born.

When David’s family business came calling, David and Judy moved to Appleton and David began working for I. Bahcall Steel & Pipe, a company founded by his grandfather Isadore Bahcall in 1900. During his forty-five-year tenure, David served in sales and handled special projects. David and Judy also welcomed their younger daughter, Staci. David and Judy were very active in the Moses Montefiore Synagogue, the American Red Cross, FEMA Disaster Relief, the local Jewish youth organization, as well as serving as judges for local schools having Academic Decathlon and Science Olympiad competitions. They also enjoyed gourmet clubs and outings with their many friends. Following retirement from I. Bahcall, David became a Master Bear Builder at the local Build-A-Bear Workshop, where he delighted children and adults alike for thirteen years.

In 2014, they moved to The Villages, Florida, where they had been wintering for years. There, they loved hosting their children and grandchildren, taking adult learning classes at the local university, being active at Temple Shalom where David served as a greeter and usher, as well as having numerous starring roles in many of their musical theater productions. In 2015, following Judy’s death, David moved back to Wisconsin, settling near his daughter Staci and her family in Waunakee. David became a very active participant at Madison’s Beth Israel Center where he developed a close relationship with the Rabbi, the administration, numerous committees and congregants, and served as a greeter as well as heading many projects. He enjoyed trips to NYC with his daughter Leslie, horse shows with his daughter Staci and then his granddaughter Alexis including dog shows with her champion dog, dance competitions and recitals with his granddaughter Gracie, even joining Gracie’s dance team on stage one year at Nationals. David’s motto was taken from his Father’s example – “Always do good things!” He valued hospitality, kindness, and generosity, and he was a welcoming presence wherever he was.

He was preceded in death by his parents, by his brother Jerre, and by his wife Judy. He is survived by his daughter Leslie (Brian) Bauman and their daughter Gracie, all of Alexandria, Virginia; his daughter Staci (Michael) Daugird and their daughter Alexis of Waunakee, Wisconsin; his brother Harlan (Francine) Balkansky of Mequon, Wisconsin; and nieces and nephews, and many other loving relatives and friends.

The family extends a very special thanks to Rabbi Betsy Forester, the Beth Israel Center, Agrace Hospice, and the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, for the great friendships and loving care they bestowed on David.

A memorial service will be held at Brettscheider Trettin-Nickel Funeral Home in Appleton, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at 11 am. Friends may visit at the funeral home on Tuesday from 10 am until the time of service. Interment will be at Moses Montefiore Cemetery following the service.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in David’s memory to the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center.

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