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Sue Ellen Baltzer



Sue Ellen Baltzer, 84, a beloved mother and grandmother, passed away October 3, 2022. Born in Des Moines, Iowa August 13, 1938, Sue was the first child of Phil and Bernice Waters. Their family later moved to Montgomery, Alabama where Sue attended Robert E. Lee High School. She lived there during the civil rights movement in the 1950s, including the Montgomery bus boycotts which happened her final year in high school. The family then moved back to Des Moines to run Baker Machinery, the family business started in 1901 by her mother’s family. Sue attended Iowa State University where she received her Bachelor’s degree, and became a lifelong Cyclone fan.


Sue married Lyle Baltzer a few years later, and eventually moved to Van Meter, Iowa where they raised their 3 daughters on a small acreage with horses, cats and dogs. Sue enjoyed gardening and the beautiful scenery of this small rural midwestern town.


Sue used her education by becoming a high school science teacher, a Talented and Gifted (TAG) program director, and a girls’ advocate with the Girl Scouts of the USA. In addition, Sue taught piano lessons to children out of her home for over 50 years.


Sue was creative, artistic, and meticulous with her handiwork, which included handmade quilts, afghans, baby blankets, needlepoint, embroidery, stained glass windows, and more. She made these one of a kind pieces of art to give as gifts to friends and loved ones.

She was also passionate about women’s rights and made dozens of pink hats for friends to wear at demonstrations, beginning with the Women’s March on Washington in 2017. When the pandemic began, she shifted her handiwork to making beautiful cloth masks. A dear friend from Sue’s PEO chapter recalls receiving a fat envelope from Sue that contained a mask with a daisy pattern, the flower for PEO.


Above all else, Sue was a devoted and loving mother and grandmother. Left to cherish Sue’s life are her three daughters Emily Sue Weslake, Eleanor Lynn Hartsock, and Amy Baltzer Stone, her 5 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.


She was preceded in death by her parents, Bernice and Phil Waters.


Those who wish to express sympathy can send cards to her daughter Amy Stone, at 245 Maplewood Drive, Roswell, GA 30075. In leu of flowers, donations can be made to organizations dedicated to finding a cure for dementia and Alzheimer’s, or her loving caregivers from Perry Lutheran Homes.