A true pillar of the Eagle Lake community was lost Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Stephen “Steve” Kent Balas was born on February 20, 1946 in Lindsay, California. He moved to Texas shortly after and met Linda Thomas Balas, the love of his life, in elementary school at the early age of 6. They went on to become sweethearts in junior high, dated in high school, and remained each other’s stronghold and refuge throughout the many trials and tribulations of their adult lives.
Steve graduated from Eagle lake High School in 1964. Upon his high school graduation, Linda wrote a note in his high school annual about the importance of studying hard and making a successful life. Even as teenagers their love was certain and undeniable. Linda added to the note that she knew he would not disappoint. To say he did not disappoint his dear Linda might be the understatement of a lifetime. Steve went on to graduate from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in pharmacy in 1969. He became the owner of Eagle Lake Drugstore and with the help of his father-in-law Jimmy Thomas, he also became a knowledgeable and successful rice farmer.
He dedicated himself completely and wholly in all facets of his life and took great pleasure in serving and giving back to his community. In addition to two demanding careers, he gave his time unselfishly to and served on the following boards: First National Bank of Eagle Lake, Rice Medical Foundation, Wintermann Foundation, United Methodist Church, Eagle Lake Hospital Board, Texas Pharmacy Association United Drugs a national pharmacy co-op, Texas Rice Producers Legislative Group, U.S. Rice Producers Association, The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Region K Water Planning Group. Steve was also appointed by Rick Perry to the Lower Colorado River Authority for multiple terms and was a member of The Colorado River Alliance and The Colorado River Land Trust.
In addition to serving his community via the numerous boards above, Steve also dearly loved serving the community by filling their prescriptions. A typical trip to the drug store was enhanced by a conversation with or a kind word from Steve. He made it personal and truly cared about those he served. Those who worked at the drug store always knew they were considered more like family than employees and he cared about each of them deeply. Steve and his loving wife Linda loved to travel with family and friends and were fortunate enough to experience many different countries and cultures throughout the world. They also enjoyed entertaining at their beautiful home in Eagle Lake and at The Vineyard, more commonly referred to as the “Duck House” and made their hospitality look and feel effortless.
Those of us left to carry on take great comfort in knowing there is a joyous reunion happening in heaven with his children who preceded him in death, Renee Balas Bullard and Brian Thomas Balas. He is survived by his wife, Linda Thomas Balas, his grandsons, Trevor Thomas Bullard, and Brandon Bullard, his brother Tony Balas and his sister Julie Lobpries (Howard), sisters-in-law Marsha Bouldin (Les), Cindy Breen (Rick) son-in-law Steve Bullard (Kathy), niece Rachelle Wesselski (Jamie, Dylan Austin and Casey), nephew Chad Kallina (Nikki, Cadence, Peyton, and Cole)
Visitation for Steve will be at Eagle Lake Funeral Home from 5 until 7 pm on Saturday, April 24, 2021.
Funeral service will be at 2 pm on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at United Methodist Church in Eagle Lake with burial to follow at Masonic Cemetery.
Serving as pallbearers will be Tom Kelley, Tim Kelley, Trent Kelley, Billy Cook, Robby Cook and Brian Wiese.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Rice Medical Center Employee Volunteers 600 South Austin Rd Eagle Lake, TX 77434.
As Steve loved serving, we are tasked with carrying on his legacy by working hard, loving the life we’re given, and supporting our community.
Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
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