James Hanson Balsley Jr., of Winterset, passed away peacefully with his wife at his side, the evening of June 14, 2019, while in hospice care at the Des Moines Veterans Hospital. Jim was born on May 30, 1947, in Berkeley, Calif., to James Hanson Balsley Sr. and Harriett Frances (Kelly) Balsley. Jim was a Vietnam Veteran and served in the Army from November 1966 until November 1968, being awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. He most wanted to be remembered for his 29 years sobriety; his sponsor, Mark, was his best friend and like a brother to him.
Jim was a spray painter for Western Electric for 26 years, until moving to Iowa in 2009. He was a talented painter, enjoyed building models, liked Western movies and loved spending time in his man caves. He inherited the Irish gift of gab and had many stories to tell of growing up in the SF Bay Area in the 1960’s and his experiences in life. A loving husband and father, he was always willing to help friends, family and persons in need. When his son went into the Army, Jim joined Operation Mom and remained active in the group even after the loss of his son.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; son, Michael Christopher Balsley (killed in Iraq); and his daughter, Charmel Marie Hill.
He is survived by his wife, Diane Balsley; son, James (Cynthia) Balsley III; step children, Regina (Steve) Lackey, Rachel (Eusebio) Salinas, Sarah (Mike) Clarke and Joel (Anna) Plante Jr.; and his many grandchildren.
Jim will be interred at Lone Tree Cemetery in Hayward, Calif., at a later date.
Arrangements are being handled by Des Moines Cremation.