Alfred Balentine Obituary

Alfred Thomas Balentine
Al Balentine
Alfred Thomas Balentine

February 15, 1919 - August 11, 2009
Born in Abington, MA
Resided in West Des Moines, IA
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Alfred Thomas Balentine, age 90, passed away August 11, 2009 in Des Moines, IA, after a prolonged illness.

Born February 15, 1919, in Abington, MA, the son of William Dexter and Laura Mae (Whitman) Balentine. Alfred (known to family and friends as Al) had a difficult childhood as he lost his mother at age ten, the year of the Great Depression, leaving his father to raise six children alone. He left school at an early age to work at whatever job he could find to help support the family.

On September of 1937, Al married the love of his life, Sara Lois Kohler. They moved to Weymouth, MA, in 1943, and there they raised their four children, Alfred Thomas, Jr., Ruth Laura, Gilbert Linn and Bruce Edward Balentine.

Al worked as a crane operator at the Hingham Shipyard during the war and, afterward, as a heavy equipment operator throughout the Boston area. He was a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 4 of Boston.

Al was a family man who enjoyed swimming, gardening, listening to the baseball games on the radio and bowling on Friday nights. Al loved the water and shared this love with his wife and children. He would often take his family for a swim at the ocean after work on a hot summer night, and on weekends they would take a picnic lunch and go to one of the ponds in Plymouth. Tenting in the mountains of New Hampshire was also a favorite vacation. Later on he installed a pool at his home for all to enjoy. He also loved playing with his grandchildren.

In 1980 Al retired and he and Sara moved to Sweden, Maine, where he had spent many vacations relaxing, swimming and fishing. In his retirement years he became a caretaker and handyman for several homes in the Sweden area. Upon the death of his wife, Al moved to West Des Moines, IA to spend is final years with his youngest son, Bruce and his wife Linda.

Al is survived by three of his children: Alfred (Fred) Balentine, Jr. of Rockland, MA; Ruth Carlson and her husband Robert of St. Johnsbury, VT; Bruce Balentine and his wife Linda Montet of West Des Moines, IA; and his sister Rosella Fitts of Brockton, MA. There are thirteen surviving grandchildren, twenty-two great grandchildren and two great- great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Sara (Kohler) Balentine; a son, Gilbert Linn Balentine; his great granddaughter, Laura Rice; and siblings William Balentine, Gerald Balentine, Gilbert Leander Balentine and Isabelle Balentine.

Alfred was a kind and gentle father and grandfather, always willing to listen and to lend a helping hand and he will be sorely missed.

A memorial service for friends and family will be held in November, in Sweden, Maine.