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Austin Wayne Balmer

Born: 1921     Died: 2010

Austin Wayne Balmer


Austin Wayne Balmer 1921-2010, a long time resident and a fixture in his Northeast Evanston neighborhood died peacefully on March 15, 2010.  Austin, most familiarly known as Wayne Balmer, was the youngest and last survivor of 7 children of Ella and Austin Balmer.  Born in then rural Bluffton, Ohio. Dear Uncle of loving Nieces and Nephew.  Mr. Balmer first received encouragement for a career in music from his mother with whom he began piano studies as a child.  He later switched to organ and double bass, which he took up in high school.  Wayne spent a year playing professionally in the San Antonio Symphony. Before enrolling in Julliard School, he also received a Fulbright Grant for additional studies at the Vienna Academy in Austria.  On his return from Europe, Mr. Balmer became a member of the bass section of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.  He then went to New York for further study and preformed as a member of the Little Orchestra Society. Wayne was appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s bass section by Fritz Reiner in 1956 and served 35 years, also under Sir George Solti until his retirement in 1992. Through the CSO, Wayne played in cities from Tokyo, Sydney through Moscow.  In addition to his career as a bassist, Mr. Balmer always maintained his interest in organ; he served and was well loved as an organist and choirmaster in two historic church congregations.  His interests were swimming, gardening, bicycling and collecting antiques.  Wayne Balmer was an active member of the   Julliard Alumni Association, CSO and Art Institute of Chicago. In lieu of flowers, donations to Julliard School of Music, NY, NY and/or CSO in his name.  Memorial Service will be held on April 17, 2010 at The Mather Pavilion, 425 Davis Street Evanston, IL. Arrangements entrusted to Brady-Gill Funeral Home.  708-636-2600



james l. riedy 06-04-2014 09:48

Wayne and I took organ lessons at the American Conservatory of music with the same instructor, Marjorie Carlson. He followed me as organist and choir director at the former Christ Presbyterian Church in Chicago.

Donald H. Olson 09-20-2013 14:55

I am sorry to hear, belatedly, of Wayne's death. We hadn't seen each other in 25 years, but I enjoyed our times together.


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Tinley Park  (708) 614-9900 or (708) 636-2600