Deceased April 7, 2012
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Howard F. "Howie" Balme
“… moved to third on Howie Balme’s hit …”
The Student was reporting a 2-1 win over Wesleyan, and Howie was rounding out three varsity years as what the Olio called “one of the most brilliant shortstops ever to play at Amherst.”
With that background, Howie surged into Triple-A ball as a trainee for the Brooklyn Dodgers. But a slipped disk ended his chances and recreational golf became his game deep into old age.
Howie, 95, died April 7, 2012, in Ridgewood, N.J., where his daughter, Andrea Pouliot, had cared for him recently. She said his mind was good to the end, but he had been slipping physically at his longtime retirement home in Sarasota, Fla. His wife, Alice, died in 2005.
During WWII, he “fixed ships” at the Hoboken shipyards of Bethlehem Steel, Andrea said. He kept working for the company as an estimator and negotiator until he took early retirement and moved to Sarasota. A memorial service was planned for him in Sarasota in June, with his ashes to be buried in a family plot in Garden City, N.Y.
More about that Wesleyan game: Ben Meyers ’38, our captain, followed Howie at bat and hit a sacrifice fly which sent the man on third (“Ace” Williams), home with the winning run. Linked on the team, Howie and Ben remained close friends through the years. Andrea recalled that when Ben died in 1985 his grieving widow was too stricken to retrieve his ashes and she called on Howie to bring the urn to the cemetery.
Howie, a Deke, had an abiding interest in Amherst, but he stopped going to reunions because of a hearing loss.
Besides Andrea, a teacher, Howie had a son and daughter who predeceased him. Other survivors included a grandson, four granddaughters and two great-grandchildren.
George Bria ’38