Meet Bob Balch! He has been a resident of UV for 10 years and is full of stories and music to share with those around. Bob was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and even as a child proved his natural talent for music. Around the age of ten, his parents purchased him a violin, but after only a few lessons he decided he could not stand it. However, he remembers going to the piano in his grandmother’s house and picking out tunes to familiar songs by ear. After discovering his love for the piano, he spent one school year learning from a teacher, and from this came a lifetime of sharing his talent for the piano. Throughout his lifetime he has maintained a legacy of sharing his kindness and care with others.
Bob served his country well during World War II, seeing action as his battalion fought their way through France, Germany, and Belgium before the end of the war. Fortunately, at the end of the war, he returned stateside and took a position as a teacher. He taught both American History and World History throughout his career, working in various schools. During the school year he would teach and invest in his students’ lives, and during summers he ran a camp for boys Tin Cup, Colorado. He said that there they would spend their time learning new skills, hiking, and playing sports on the mountain where the camp was located. Many happy years were spent with the crowds of boys coming from all over the country, from ages 12-18. “My mother said I was crazy, teaching kids all year and then when I could get a break in the summer taking on the boys at the camp,” he remembered. In addition to his career as a teacher, Bob is also an ordained minister with a Masters of Divinity degree. He never took on a job as a lead pastor for a church, however, and invested those skills into his camp.
After his retirement, Bob spent time going to different retirement communities around Tulsa to share his talent with the piano and conduct sing-alongs of old classic songs. Among the many places he visited to play was University Village, and a few months later he inquired about moving into a cottage with a yard for his dog Atticus. Since then, he has moved inside to Independent Living apartments and now Assisted Living apartments, where he has made his home look and feel like the epitome of comfort. He has many beautiful pictures and paintings on the walls, and of course, his own piano to practice on. Bob enjoys playing the piano for his fellow residents, and still holds sing-alongs to share his talent with all those around him. Bob is so very special and he lights up the lives of those around him with his kind spirit and generous nature.
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