LeVerne Ivan Ballweg
Vern Ballweg, born December 29, 1930 in Cavalier County, ND, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on December 19, 2007. He is survived by his loving and faithful wife of 56 years, Grace Elaine Reiste Ballweg. Other family members include his son, Kenneth L. Ballweg, daughter-in-law Lynn E. Herzberger Ballweg , daughter Linda M. Ballweg Williams, and son-in-law Charles I. Williams. Vern's grandchildren are Daniel, David, and Dale Ballweg and T. Justin, Christopher, and Digory Williams. He has one great-granddaughter, Milee Ballweg and a great-granddaughter soon to be born. He is also survived by his dear brother Eugene and loving sisters Joyce Offutt and Donna Patnoude. He is preceded in death by his great-grandson William Benjamin Ballweg.
Vern Ballweg was raised in North Dakota working on the farm and also assisting his friend and mentor, Doctor Drew. He joined the Navy in 1951 and married Grace between boot camp and deployment to San Diego. He loved the Navy and was glad to serve his country. He just missed the Korean War by a few days, as the cease-fire was signed while he was enroute to the fighting. Instead, his ship was sent to Japan for 15 months where Vern developed a life-long love of the Japanese language and people.
He came home to a new son, Ken, and started his career in the optical business working in both Seattle and Bremerton as a dispensing optician and a manufacturing optician for 40 years. He owned his own business, Peninsula Optical, for about 15 years, which was perhaps the first to firm to manufacture contact lenses on the Olympic Peninsula. Later he expanded the business to include the making of eyeglasses. Always full of fun, he would occasionally deliver his products to doctors in Silverdale by boat. Many in the West Seattle area remember him as the smiling face at West Seattle Optical.
His love for the Lord and for doing what is right led him to serve as Deacon at both the First Presbyterian Church of Bremerton (now Lincoln Avenue Bible Church) and at Hillcrest Presbyterian in West Seattle. He spent years working on (and recruiting others to work on) the repairing of cribs for the Crisis Pregnancy Center as a very practical way of demonstrating his respect for the life of the Unborn.
He also was very active in the West Seattle Lions Club where he received awards for his untiring commitment to helping start the Lions/VOSH Eye Clinic at the Millionairs Club in downtown Seattle, which is dedicated to helping provide eye care to those in need. As a Lions Club member he was also able to fulfill a dream to return to Japan where he met with Japanese Lions Club members in Seattle's sister city.
In his later years he has been residing at the Kenney home where he has been a joy to friends and staff. After a prolonged battle with Parkinson's disease, he is finally able to relax in the arms of his dear Lord. He will be missed and loved by many who will remember his pleasant smile, gentle humor, and deep spiritual conviction.
The memorial for Vern was held at The Kenney Home, Dec. 22 at 10 a.m. Graveside ceremony were Dec. 24th at 9 a. m. at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent. Full military honors will be rendered.
Remembrances may be made to The Kenney Life Care Fund, which provides for residents who have out lived their resources. 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA 98136. Please sign our guest book at www.Howden-Kennedy.com