Louise Balch



Minnie “Louise” Horton Balch, age 90, died Friday, 12 May 2017, at Cedars Health Center in Tupelo. She was born November 3, 1926 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Marshall and Ora Williams Horton. She was a toddler when her family moved to the family farm near Chalybeate, Mississippi. She grew up attending Chalybeate Baptist Church where she was converted and baptized. In 1944 she graduated from Chalybeate High School and enrolled at Blue Mountain College where she earned a B.A. in history and English. Later, as a working mother with three children, she commuted to the University of Mississippi at Oxford and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Library Science and Media.

Her professional career spanned 41 years. It began in her hometown of Chalybeate where she taught English and tended the library at Chalybeate High School. Following her marriage to Charles Balch on May 6, l949, she lived in Tupelo and taught at Belden High School and Lawhon Junior High School, tending the library in both locations. She spent the last 27 years of her professional career as librarian at Tupelo High School. Louise always treasured memories of her colleagues in education, as well as beloved students of all stripes, from the “model” scholars to those who, like Mark Twain, were determined not to let schooling interfere with their education.

Since November 2015 Louise had lived at Mitchell Center of Traceway Retirement Community, where she leaves behind friends new and old among residents and caregiver staff. She enjoyed calls and visits from relatives, neighbors and former students, from Harrisburg Baptist Church where she was a member, and from fellow retirees of the Tupelo Public School System.

Survivors include one son, Charles “Chuck” L. Balch, III, Walnut; two daughters, Mary Kathryn Tri (Bob) of Lexington, Kentucky and Dr. Patty Balch of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; one brother, Marshall “Buddy” Horton (Louise), Walnut; three grandsons, James M. Montgomery of Washington, D.C., Lt. Charles C. Montgomery (Taylor Sorenson) of Birmingham, Alabama, and Lt. Marshall G. Montgomery stationed in Fort Zama, Japan; three granddaughters, Claire Bryn Tri Jones (Brett) of Nashville, Tennessee, Lee Balch of Madison, Mississippi and Sara Balch of Rochester, Minnesota; three great-grandchildren, Darcie Sorenson-Montgomery of Birmingham, and Cody and Olivia Jones of Nashville, Tennessee. In addition, she is survived by nieces Louann (David) White of Tupelo and Judy (Dean) Carone of Frisco, Texas; nephews Jimmy Nance of Collierville, Tennessee and Marshall Horton (Jane) of Hixon, Tennessee; and their children and grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by Charles Balch, her husband of 49 years on March 4, 1998; her parents; and her sister Mary Nance of Ripley, Mississippi.

A service celebrating her life will be Tuesday, May 16, at 12 Noon at Holland Funeral Directors, Tupelo Chapel with Dr. Jack Bennett officiating. Visitation begins at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday only. A committal service will follow at 2 PM Tuesday in Union Cemetery at Chalybeate. Condolences may be e mailed to hollandfuneraldirectors@comcast.net

Memorials may be made to Blue Mountain College, P. O. Box 160, Blue Mountain, MS. 38610, Harrisburg Baptist Church, 46745 Cliff Gookin Blvd, Tupelo, MS. 38801 or Chalybeate Baptist Church, 2460 Hwy 354, Walnut, MS. 38683 or through your gifts of time, money, and prayer to communities and missions of your choice.