Obituaries » Jack Phelps Balling
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May 3, 1935 - March 25, 2021
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Bountiful
On March 25, 2021, Jack Phelps Balling passed away from diabetes complications and journeyed from this life into the next where he was greeted by the loving family and friends that had gone before him. Jack followed the Savior’s commandment to love one another, and he was loved by many.
Jack was born on May 3, 1935, in Logan, Utah. He was the oldest son of Harold Christen Balling and Hazel Areta Phelps Balling. He quickly grew into a rambunctious and adventurous boy that was always on the go. At times he was more than his parents could handle, and often got into mischief. Jack’s grandparents, uncles, and aunts had a special place in Jack’s heart and he in theirs.
Jack’s father was a plumber, and occasionally moved his family to find work. While living in Denver, 5-year-old Jack fell out of a moving car and broke his right femur. Because it was a compound fracture, he had to be in traction for 3 months. When he was close to the end of his treatment, the pulley fell from the ceiling requiring 3 more months of traction. Jack spent close to a year recovering from this event.
Jack loved school, not so much for the schoolwork, but for the social life and especially the sports. Jack was a tremendous athlete. He especially loved football, basketball, and track. He received the Jack Parson Award for outstanding High School Athletics, and received an athletic scholarship at Utah State College.
While in 6th grade, Jack’s school class toured Cache Valley demonstrating country dances to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the pioneers coming into the Salt Lake Valley. Unknown to Jack at the time, his eventual eternal companion was dancing with a different partner right behind him. Karma Lee Horlacher attended the same schools as Jack, but it was not until high school that Jack and Karma began to date and fall in love. Jack and Karma were married for 66 years at the time of Jack’s passing – which is only a short time when you think of the eternity still to come that they will be together.
Growing up on a farm, Jack learned the value of hard work from his father and uncles. This working habit became the code he lived by, and it showed in everything he did. Jack learned that working with your mind was as important as working with your hands. Jack determined to “Knuckle Down” and go to school to become a Civil Engineer. This didn’t come easy, and it meant a lot of hard work and study for Jack. Jack gave up college sports to concentrate on obtaining his degree – all while supporting two kids and a wife. After graduation, he began a successful career as a civil engineer, eventually owning his own business. Jack surveyed the I-215 belt route in Salt Lake County, and designed many residential developments in South Davis County.
In 1966, Jack accepted the position as City Engineer and Public Works Director for Bountiful City. During the next 30 years his impact on the development and infrastructure has been second to none in the history of Bountiful City. You can see his hand in the improvements of almost every block. Just a few of his projects are as follows:
- Creation of Lake Bountiful and extension of the life of the Bountiful Land Fill
- Acquisition and development of Bountiful Hills Golf Course
- Design and supervision of the Mill Creek Water Treatment Facility and the design of several half-million gallon water reservoirs.
- Conception and design of most of Bountiful Boulevard
- Funding, acquisition, and in-house design of most concrete paved collector roads throughout the city.
After the news-making floods in the spring of 1983, Jack made it his personal mission to ensure that storm runoff would never again ravage the city, and by that fall, design was completed and construction was underway for three major debris basins and linings for all streams throughout the city.
For many years, Jack served as a beloved scoutmaster in his ward. Later he served on the stake high council and as bishop of the stake young adult ward. Immediately after he retired, Jack and Karma served a mission at the Institute of Religion in Manchester, England.
Jack and Karma have four sons and one daughter, and they were the joy of their lives. This family has had so many great experiences together, due largely to the direction, love, and wisdom of the greatest parents anyone could ask for. Jack loved recreating with his family in the outdoors. He taught his kids to waterski and snow ski. He took his kids on backpack trips into the Uinta and Wind River mountains. He built a cabin at Bear Lake which his family enjoyed very much. He fished with his family on rivers all over the Western United States and Alaska. Through the patriarchal leadership of Jack, all of his kids are devoted to being a family forever.
Jack is preceded in death by his parents, Harold Christen Balling and Hazel Areta Phelps Balling, his daughter-in-law Cindee Canfield Balling, and granddaughters Micalee Balling and Tiffani Renae Balling. Jack is survived by his eternal companion, Karma Lee Horlacher Balling, and children Rick (Diana) Balling, Scott (Angie) Balling, David (Sandi) Balling, Paige (Mark) James, and Chris (Sonya) Balling, and 27 grandkids, and 61 great-grandkids.
A public visitation will be held on Thursday, April 1, 2021 from 6-8PM at Russon Bountiful Mortuary, 295 N. Main St. A private family service will be held on Friday at the Bountiful 5th Ward with interment to following at the Bountiful City Cemetery.
To view a live stream of the services, come back to this website, Friday at 10:45.
Services will also be streamed on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f8of3wFniU