John Balk passed away on October 20, 2020 at the age of 37. John was a devoted father, husband, son, brother, friend, and surfer. These roles mattered the most to John; his unwavering dedication to each one made him the special person he was. John is survived by his wife Rikki, son Koa (8), and daughter Ruby (7); his parents, Andy and Christine Balk; and his siblings Sarah Burks and Andy Balk Jr. He is now at peace after a 5-year battle with brain cancer.
John left us too soon, but the magnitude of his impact on others reflects a century worth of life. He inspired everyone around him to take life as it comes, accept what we cannot change, and make the best of every day. At each stage of life, he exuded a patience and wisdom far beyond his age and possessed the gift of knowing how to always be present in the moment. His ability to remain present made everyone who knew him feel special and valued. He showed up when people needed him, and always with a smile and positive attitude. His gratitude for the simple things in life will forever remind us of what really matters.
John discovered his love of the ocean as a child, but unlike many others, he never grew out of that pure excitement and joy that children derive from just being in the water. A true surfer, John moved effortlessly on any wave. The ocean is where he was the happiest, where he made his life-long friends, and where he created memories with his family that will be cherished forever. John's love for the water will live on through Koa and Ruby, who already show signs of sharing that passion.
One of John's final messages to his loved ones was: "Come find me in the water." Naturally, his final resting place will be in the ocean.
John grew up in Playa Del Rey and attended St. Anastasia, Mira Costa, Marymount, and LMU. He was a real estate agent, property manager and founder of Auctiv. His family asks that anyone wishing to honor his memory donate to the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation.
Photo Credit: Ricky Lesser
Published in The Beach Reporter on Nov. 11, 2020.