Cover photo for Marjorie A. Balke's Obituary
Marjorie A. Balke Profile Photo
1931 Marjorie 2023

Marjorie A. Balke

November 8, 1931 — August 24, 2023

Grand Ridge


Marjorie A. (Nicklin) Balke, 91, of Grand Ridge passed away peacefully on Thursday (August 24, 2023), at her home.  She was born November 8, 1931, in Streator to the late Raymond A. Sr. and Anne (Galik) Nicklin.  She married George F. Balke, Jr. on June 18, 1953; he died on April 12, 1992. 


She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, son Greg Balke & daughter Nancy Norris; brothers Raymond A. Nicklin, Jr. & Frederick (Fritz) Nicklin, sisters-in-law Mary Lou Nicklin & Dorothy Nicklin. 


She is survived by daughters, Lori (Dave) Wakeman of Streator & Julene (Bob) Buckley of Grand Ridge; 6 grandchildren that she adored: Henry Rice, Steve & Jeff Wakeman, Joe, Jake & Jessie Buckley; 3 great-grandsons that she absolutely treasured: Richard, Brent & Hudson; brothers Ralph (Bud) Nicklin of Streator and Dan (Mary) Nicklin of Aviston, IL; sister-in-law Sue Nicklin of Streator and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.


Marge graduated from St. Stephen's Grade School in 1945 and Streator high School with the class of 1949.  She was a Drum majorette during high school and organized SHS class of 1949 reunions.


Marge started bowling in 1949: quit in 1961 to raise her children and returned to bowling in 1976.

She was the Streator Women's Bowling Association – President (24 years), Vice-President (1 year), Director (9 years). She became a member of the 600 Club in 1981 with a series of 608.  She was inducted into the Streator Women's Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1986 and was named a life member in 2005.  Career high average of 172, high game of 255, high series of 652. The last year she bowled was in 2015-2016.  She was on the All-star team several times. She served on every SWBA Committee: Presidential, All-Star, Bowler of the Year, Hall of Fame, Scholarship, Banquet & Yearbook.  She established a scholarship fund for high school bowlers.  Organized and participated in local, State & National Bowling tournaments; was a State delegate for over 20 years.  She organized the Illinois Valley Travel League in 1986 and was a member for 25 years. She was a member of Illinois State USBC WBA for over 50 years and was named Member of the Year in 2014.  She served at the Grand Ridge Community Ridge Fest from 2012 – 2022.  Marge was employed at Owens-Illinois Glass, J.C. Penney for 28 years as a catalog supervisor, retiring in 1999. And later with the LaSalle County Jury Commissioner for 15 years.


Visitation will be held Sunday from 11AM until 2PM at the Grand Ridge Funeral Home.  Funeral services will be held at 2PM at the funeral home with burial in the Grand Ridge Cemetery.


Memorials may be made to the Grand Ridge Fire Department or the Streator High School Bowling Scholarship or to the family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marjorie A. Balke, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, August 27, 2023

11:00am - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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