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Obit: Jesus Antonio Balderrama

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Obit: Jesus Antonio Balderrama

Posted: 15 Jun 2010 10:26PM GMT
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Balderrama
Jesus Antonio (Chuy) Balderrama 1919-2009 Jesus Antonio (Chuy) Balderrama passed into the arms of Our Father on Sept. 3, 2009 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2005. A Rosary will be held Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009 at 7 p.m. at Cloverdale Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held Friday, Sept. 11, 2009 at 11 a.m. at Cloverdale Funeral Home followed by a graveside service at Idaho State Veterans Cemetery at 2 p.m. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Manuela (Nellie) Balderrrama and his daughters; Dr. and Mrs. John and Nell Slocumb (Centennial, Colo.), Mr. and Mrs. Rich and Toni Allen (Boise, Idaho), his brothers; Mr. and Mrs. Ernest and Theresa Balderrama (Cameron Park, Calif.), Mr. and Mrs. Ronald and Cathy Balderrama (Boise, Idaho); his sisters; Mrs. Irene B. Valle (Boise, Idaho), Mrs. Sylvia Maxwell (Boise, Idaho) and Mr. and Mrs. George and Maria Amburn (Port Orchard, Wash.). Four grandchildren, 14 nephews, and 10 nieces also survive. He was preceded in death by his son Ronald C. Balderrama, his father Jesus Molina Balderrama, his mother Rita Lovio Balderrama, brothers Arnold and Robert Balderrama; and his granddaughter Christine Kyger. Chuy was born and raised in Miami, Ariz. His love of learning enabled him to graduate from high school at 14 years of age. After high school he worked in the CCC camps until the age of 17. Then, he earned an academic scholarship to Bacone Indian College in Muskogee, Okla., graduating summa cum laude. While there, he was a Golden Gloves Champion for two years in the Welterweight Division (He also boxed for the U.S. Army). He married Nellie in 1942 prior to enlisting in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was a Tech Sergeant with the 448th Bombardment Group, Squadron F, Crew #3, which became Squadron Lead of twelve planes (Liberators) after the seventh mission. They completed 33 combat missions thereafter. He completed his tour in Europe then volunteered to fly additional missions over enemy lines to deliver much needed fuel to his fellow soldiers on their march to the Rhine River. He was shipped back to the U.S. on a transport ship full of servicemen. He volunteered to help feed and bathe seriously wounded men and escort the blind. He always was grateful he could be of help. After his tour of duty in Europe, he returned to the U.S. where he was stationed at Gowen Field as a gunnery instructor. Shortly thereafter, the war ended and he returned to complete his college education at Redlands Indian College and Arizona State Teachers College, earning degrees in English and Accounting. He loved the Treasure Valley so much, he moved back to Boise with his family. Over the years his mother, sisters and brothers followed him to Idaho. He worked over 30 years as an accountant for the JR Simplot Company. Owing to his dedication to those in need and his deep respect for the Basque community, particularly sheepherders, he volunteered much of his spare time to translate, assist with finances and tax forms, and help them with access to medical care. After retirement he worked several years for the Idaho Department of Correction. Chuy also taught conversational Spanish through the Adult Continuing Education Program. On completion of each term, Chuy provided a Mexican dinner much to the delight of his students. Chuy was an avid golfer and bowler. Some of his happiest times were spent with his many friends at Warm Springs Golf Course. Throughout his life Chuy displayed a deep faith. He was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church where he taught Sunday school and was a member of the choir. Chuy was a loving husband, father, brother, and a special "tio" (uncle) to 28 nieces and nephews. He had a humongous sweet tooth and loved sharing his candy with everyone. Many knew him as "the candy man". The family wishes to thank the administration and staff of Ivy Place for their kindness and dedication in serving the infirm and elderly. The family would also like to thank St. Luke's Hospice. Please consider a donation to St. Luke's Hospice, 325 W. Idaho, Boise, ID, 83702 or the Alzheimer's Association at 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, Ill., 60601-7633. Condolences for the family may be submitted online at www.CloverdaleFuneralHome.com.
Published in Idaho Statesman on September 9, 2009


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