Barbara J. Balhorn

Died March 15, 2023

Barbara J. Balhorn, age 98 of Gaylord, Michigan, formerly of Comins, Michigan, passed away at The Brook of Gaylord on Wednesday, March 15, 2023.

Barbara was born in Detroit, Michigan on January 17, 1925 to Anton and Katie (Yost) Laban. She graduated from St. David’s High School of Detroit with the Class of 1943. She met Kenneth Balhorn, a police officer for the City of Detroit, while she was working at the Broadway Capital Movie Theater as a ticket clerk. Barbara and Kenneth were married on December 13, 1945. They raised eight children together in Detroit. After their retirement in 1977, they moved up north to Comins. Barbara was a long-time parishioner of St. Mary Catholic Church in Mio, Michigan. She was a Charter Member of the Comins Eagles Aerie # 3544.

She also worked as a bartender at the Knot Hole Bar in Comins. Ten years after Kenneth’s passing, Barbara met Lee Guest, a great friend and companion, with whom she traveled when she was in her 70s to Hawaii, Alaska, the Panama Canal, California and many other destinations for over 25 years. Barbara lived in her home in Comins until the age of 95 when she moved to The Brook in Gaylord, Michigan in July of 2020.

She lived there until her passing into God’s Glory.

Barbara’s favorite color was red; the family asks that anyone attending her services wear red in her honor! In her youth, Barbara loved dancing with friends on the Boblo boat on the Detroit River and playing baseball – earning her the nickname “Tomboy Taylor” She enjoyed making lots of chocolate candy and chocolate Easter bunnies to fill Easter baskets. Barbara also did ceramics and gave all she made to her children and their spouses at Christmas. She took in all stray cats who wandered her way.

A few bear cubs walked up onto her front porch, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Barbara also made sure everyone in her very large family received a gift or money at Christmas (as long as she could remember!).

Barbara is survived by her children: David (Sheron) Balhorn, Susan (Bill) Schaare, Michael (Teresa) Balhorn, Barbara (Joe) Takacs, Kendra (Bob) Hegedus, Kenneth (Sherry) Balhorn, Katherine (Kevin) Harkness and Kelly (Calvin) Thompson; 19 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by her “bonus” grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents: Anton “Tony” and Katie (Yost) Laban; her husband Kenneth Balhorn in 1985; her sister Katie Allegreen; and her brother Arthur Laban.

Visitation was Friday, March 24 at Lashley Funeral Home, Mio and on Saturday, March 25, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Mio. The Mass of Christian Burialwas celebrated at 10 a.m. with Reverend Santiago Hoyumpa officiating.

Interment at The Fairview Cemetery, Fairview, MI, with a luncheon following at The Comins Eagles.

Memorial donations may be directed to: Hospice Angels Foundation, 503 N Euclid Avenue Suite 9E, Bay City, MI 48706 (www.; Meals on Wheels, NW Michigan Community Action Agency, 3963 3 Mile Road, Traverse City, MI 49686 (www.nmcaa. net); or to Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #3544 Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 211, 3510 N. Abbe Road, Comins, MI 48619.

Arrangements by Lashley Funeral Home, Mio.