- Published: 10 April 2014
Donald LeRoy LaBalle, son of LeRoy Emanuel and Eva (Goddard) LaBalle, was born March 11, 1940 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He attended school in Woodard, Oklahoma, graduating from high school there in 1958. Don went on to attend Oklahoma Baptist University, earning a degree in English and journalism. He also served his country in the Oklahoma National Guard. On May 23, 1970 Don was united in marriage to Lynn Quig at Peace Lutheran Church in Hastings, Nebraska. They made their first home in Beatrice, Nebraska before moving to Auburn, Nebraska in October of that year. Don and Lynn were blessed with three children: Jennifer, Brad, and Nichole. Don purchased the Peterson Photography Studio when he moved to Auburn. He renamed the business LaBalle Studio, and operated for 35 years until closing the business in 2005. He also had worked part-time with KNCY Radio while it was in Auburn, and as an insurance agent for a telemarketing firm in Auburn. Don was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, and had belonged to Rotary and Toastmasters in Auburn. He was also a proud member of the NRA. He enjoyed history in general, especially when it dealt with wars and World War II. He loved his work with photography and enjoyed literature of all types. Nichole’s dog held a special place in his heart. Don was known to family and friends to have a dry, witty sense of humor. Parkinson’s disease began to take a toll on Don in his later years, resulting in him moving to the Good Samaritan Society-Auburn in July of 2013. He passed there, with Lynn by his side, on Monday, March 31, 2014 at the age of 74 years and 20 days. His parents preceded him in death. Don is survived by his wife Lynn of Auburn; daughters and sons-in-law Jennifer and Darin Anderson of Auburn; Nichole and Landon Rafos of Fort Collins, Colo.; son Brad LaBalle and Masa Waring of Auburn; nine grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law Dorsey and Debra Redd of Cherokee, Okla; and other relatives and friends. A funeral service for Don was Wednesday, April 9, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Auburn, officiated by Rev. Jonathan Rathjen. Sharon Schuster, McKenzie Anderson and Brad LaBalle provided special music, as well as congregational hymns accompanied by Joan Wittmann. Landon Rafos, Darin Anderson, Chris Gibbs, Mike Curry, Ryan Raggasch and Aarin Anderson served as casket bearers; and Keegan Rafos and Owen LaBalle were honorary bearers. Burial followed in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery near Johnson. Services were entrusted to Hemmingsen Funeral Home of Auburn.