Captain Eric "Rick" Balcom, 61, of Howard, Ohio, passed away Dec. 27, 2006, from an aircraft accident.
He was born Aug. 4, 1945, to Perry and Marjorie Balcom, now deceased. He proceeded to graduate from Milan High School, Milan, in 1962, earning varsity letters in baseball, basketball and track. He then attended Kent State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1965 in business administration, graduating cum laude in only three years. It was through the Kent State Flying Club where his love of flying prospered into a career. His perseverance culminated in a commercial airline pilot position with Trans World Airlines (TWA) in 1967. During his career he piloted a multitude of aircraft including: B-707, B-727, L-1011, DC-9, MD-80, B-757 and B-767. He achieved the rank of captain in 1992. After 40 years of service, and over 27,500 hours in the cockpit. He retired in August 2005. An active lifetime learner, he most recently earned certification, endorsed by the U.S. Coast Guard, in sailing and sea navigation in Florida. His professional affiliations included the Air Line Pilot Association (ALPA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).
He is dearly missed as a husband and father. He is survived by his loving wife, Sue Balcom; his children -- Mount Vernon High School alumni -- daughter, Jenni Balcom, son, Joel (Jen) Balcom, MD (granddaughters, Sophie and Ella and grandson, Avery) and daughter, Jessica (Chris) Shetler (grandson, Jonathan). His sisters include Debby (Richard) Warr, Marilyn (Glenn) Seaver and Carol (James) Seaver.
He will be remembered most for his love and devotion to his family, his strong desire to teach and learn, his easy sense of humor and, above all else, his generosity.
Friends may call from 1-3 and 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home, 619 E. High St., Mount Vernon. The family will observe a private service.
Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one's choice.
This obituary and guest registry are at www.snyderfuneralhomes.com
A poem for our everything...our beloved Rick, Dad, Grandpa, "Pa-Pa", "Captain", "Sky King",
"When once you have tasted flight,
You will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,
For there you have been,
And there you will always long to return." -- Leonardo da Vinci