Alexander Balberde

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July 28, 1934 – May 26, 2018

Alex Balberde never knew a stranger. It was this rare ability to connect with people that made him so beloved. He was privileged to live a long life and was thrilled to be the head of his family, along with the love of his life, Diane to whom he was married for 59 years. Together, they had 4 loving sons – Steve, Mike, Jeff and Matt; daughters-in- law who he loved like his own – Eileen, Leigh and Heather; and the pride and joy of his later years, his grandchildren – Will, Andy, Ansley, Allie, Elizabeth and Josh. Alex loved God, family and country and leaves behind cherished family and friends.

Born in Honomu, Hawaii on July 28, 1934, Alex grew up on the Big Island with his parents Mary and Alex Sr, and his sisters and brother – Sebbie, Margaret and Lawrence. While finishing up college at Santa Clara University, Alex met Diane Young. “I saw her walking by and knew I had to meet her”. They were married 4 short months later in 1958 in Winters, CA, Diane’s hometown. The marriage was officiated by Father Andrew Coffey at St. Anthony Parish. Alex immediately began his first career in the US Army, serving in Korea, 2 tours in Vietnam and in Europe as an Army Helicopter pilot. Humble by nature, you would never know that Alex earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism, The Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star, the Air Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. Upon retirement from the US Army, Alex began a successful second career in the private sector.

Diane and Alex raised their 4 sons in the US and Europe, finally settling in Fairfax, VA in 1971. While in Fairfax, Alex was finally able to pursue his passion for golf. He was cool under pressure, sinking impossible putts, making holes in one and shooting his age more times than anyone could count! Alex loved golfing with his grandsons and was a longtime volunteer for the Junior Golf Program. He was a great instructor on the course, dispensing valuable and helpful advice to all, in a positive and encouraging way – unless, of course, he was playing against you – and then you were on your own! Alex was always ready to play golf – whether it was at his home course, or in Hawaii, where he and Diane lived for half of each year. Alex loved his home state of Hawaii and his “Big Kahuna” license plate was known to many.

His grandchildren loved to listen to “PopPop’s schtick” and Alex could tell a joke that would make you cry with laughter. Not always because he got the joke right, but because he was laughing so hard he couldn’t finish it! Competitive by nature, Alex loved a good discussion. He delighted in playing the devil’s advocate.

It is with great sadness that we say “Aloha” to our Alex, Dad and PopPop. You will be forever missed, always loved and never forgotten.

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