Cover photo for Steven M. Balzer's Obituary
Steven M. Balzer Profile Photo
1981 Steven 2021

Steven M. Balzer

June 20, 1981 — June 4, 2021

On Friday, June 4, 2021, Steven Michael Balzer, loving husband, father of five children, son, brother, and friend went home to the Lord at the age of 39. Steve was born on June 20, 1981, in Rockford to Robert and Joyce (Bickett) Balzer. He attended Holy Family grade school and Boylan Central Catholic High School. Steve received his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Economics from Marquette University and was valedictorian of his MBA class at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. His talents had him working the field of economic and market forecasting for multiple large corporations in the upper Midwest, most recently at Grainger Corporation in Lake Forest, IL. Steve truly enjoyed his job, the people he worked with, and loved going to work every day. While at Marquette University, he met his best friend and the love of his life, Kerry Brennan. On October 9, 2004, they were married at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Watertown, WI.
Steve was the youngest of eight children with all the rights, responsibilities and privileges that came with that role. He was known for his ability to make anyone and everyone smile and laugh, no matter the mood or the situation. He had a gift of connecting with people, a skill useful for attracting both wanted and unwanted attention from his older siblings or parents. As the youngest of eight, Steve had to be creative in having his voice heard. In line with that, Steve had confidence and the gift of performance. Those skills proved useful later, both in college and his professional career, enabling him to easily speak in front of large groups. His wit and humor allowed him to connect with an audience, letting him creatively and effectively present his material while keeping them engaged (and laughing!).
Steve’s love for the outdoors began early in his life, spending countless hours on the family farm. He would walk the land, explore the woods and swim the creek in all weather and in every season. Steve was an avid outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman. While he loved his job of forecasting and analyzing market trends and opportunities, he saved his best forecasting and analytical skills for determining where the fish were biting and the deer were treading. And unless it’s with Kerry and the children, it’s almost impossible to find a picture of Steve that doesn’t include camouflage, a fish, or his latest hunting trophy.
While he loved the outdoors and his work, Steve’s greatest loves were his wife, Kerry, and their five children. Steve and Kerry had weekly date nights, loved running together, and could have fun in the simplest of moments together. And whether it was coming home after work to help with dinner, walking down to the lake to fish, making pancakes on Saturday mornings, reading stories at bedtime, or spending a family day at Wisconsin Dells, Steve delighted in the life he shared with those he loved the most.
Steve also enjoyed time spent with his extended families on vacations in Mexico, boating on Lake Decatur and Lake Shelbyville, fishing at Lake Carroll or hunting and fishing on the family farm. No one can forget the fruits of those fishing excursions, which usually supplied an annual family fish fry. Steve and his brothers enjoyed sharing the haul with any and all. It was a bit like the miracle of the loaves and fishes -- there always seemed to be enough for everyone to have their fill with a little left over for later. And when he wasn’t frying fish, Steve and his brothers engaged in fierce cooking competitions utilizing the grill or their barbeque smokers to see who the best chef was and who had the most creative rubs and recipes. Family members were often summoned to the judge the winner.
Steve was a member of Holy Apostles Catholic Church, McHenry, IL. He was born and raised Catholic and embraced the faith of his childhood in his adult life. He spent many hours praying with his children, leading them in the rosary, teaching them the catechism, and sharing the importance of faith in his life and in the life of those around him. His faith was the rock and anchor for both him and his family.
It’s difficult to capture the essence of a life in words. Steve Balzer was, and is, a man of God, a man for his family, and a man of love for those the Lord put in his life. He was a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend and was loved, is loved, and will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
Steve is survived by his wife Kerry, five children, Skyler, Ellie, Miley, Kinley, and Steven; his parents, Robert and Joyce (Bickett) Balzer; siblings, Shari (Carl) Armato, Mary (Chris) Dausman, Teresa (Steve) Ambrose, Sandi (Jamey) Ware, Kim (Jim) Sardegna, John (Holle) Balzer, Dave (Brea) Balzer; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Bill and Kathy Brennan; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Erin and Shaun Schlosser; 50 nieces and nephews, lifelong friend (really another brother) Steve Rosander, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He is preceded in death by a niece, Sarah Kate Armato, and a nephew, Isaac Liam Jay Schlosser.
Visitation will be held Thursday, June 10, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, 1860 S. Mulford Rd, Rockford, IL. Visitation will continue from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m., at Holy Family Catholic Church, 4401 Highcrest Rd, Rockford, IL on Friday, June 11, 2021. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family or at https://www.gofundme.com/manage/Steve-Balzer-Brain-Cancer-Relief-Fund. To send online condolences, please visit www.fitzgeraldfh.com.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, June 11, 2021

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Holy Family Catholic Church

4401 Highcrest Road, Rockford, IL 61107

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Funeral Mass

Friday, June 11, 2021

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Holy Family Catholic Church

4401 Highcrest Road, Rockford, IL 61107

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Burial

Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Winnebago/Rockford

8616 West State Road, Winnebago, IL 61088

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