Susan J. Balazer, 70, passed away Friday, July 6th

Susan J. Balazer, 70, of Stevensville, Michigan passed away July 6th unexpectedly in her home. Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Funeral Home – 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, MI.

Funeral services celebrating Susan’s life will be at 11:00 am on Thursday, July 12 at Starks and Menchinger Funeral Home with visitation beginning one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Sue B Scholarship Grant” for students of Dowagiac Union Schools. Please send donations to the funeral home, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. Friends wishing to leave the family a message of condolence may do so at

Sue was born December 30th, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan to Robert and Barbara Myers. After attending Western Michigan University and earning her Master’s degree in Special Education, she started her long teaching career in Kalamazoo. For a brief period she also taught in Louisiana and then moved to Berrien county in 1975 where she taught in Niles and Dowagiac and also worked at Visitors Hospital in Niles. She was the Founder and Director of Tiny Talkers (a non-profit for speech and language program) which started over 35 years ago in Niles and expanded to Dowagiac/St. Joseph years later. Sue had a passion for teaching and loved working with children while impacting countless lives over the years. Sue was the recipient of the Council for Exceptional Children Teacher of the Year award in 1995. She was an avid Detroit sports fan with a special affinity for the Detroit Tigers. In her leisure time she enjoyed boating, volleyball, softball and especially loved spending time with her grandson Logan coming up with magical stories every time they were together. Sue (Sue B) will be remembered by family and friends as a passionate and caring woman who had an unmatched zest for life.

She was preceded in death by her husband Bill Henke and her parents. Sue is survived by her son Lang (Christy) Balazer of Stevensville, grandson Logan Balazer, brother John (Rita) Myers of Powell, OH, and sister Robin (Kevin) Mitchell of Powell, OH, and numerous nephews and nieces

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