USA Rice extends condolences to the family and friends of Steve Balas, of Eagle Lake, Texas, who passed away April 20, at the age of 75. He is survived by his wife, Linda, brother Tony, sister Julie Lobpries (Howard), and two grandsons.
Steve and Linda’s story is inspiring and breathtaking. They met at the age of 6, became sweethearts in junior high, dated in high school before finally marrying.
Steve graduated from University of Texas at Austin with a degree in pharmacy and became the owner of Eagle Lake Drugstore and also began rice farming with the help of his father-in-law.
Active in both his local community and the U.S. rice industry, Steve gave very freely of his time and knowledge, serving on numerous local and national boards that spanned banking, medicine, and agriculture. For USA Rice, Steve served on the Political Action Board of Directors, the USA Rice Farmers Board of Directors, and the Conservation Committee.
"Steve worked for several decades representing the rice industry in policy and implementation on issues of water, farm legislation, natural resources, and wildlife habitat," said friend and rice farmer LG Raun. "He was President of the Texas Rice Producers Legislative Group and a member and leader with USA Rice. He and his wife Linda hosted many water and farm policy leaders at their home and ranch in Eagle Lake and in Austin and Washington DC. He will be sorely missed as a great leader, farmer, pharmacist, and a wonderful person."
"Steve was an outstanding individual, and his service provided a huge benefit to the Texas rice industry and beyond," said Dr. Steve Linscombe who worked with and knew Steve for many years.
Visitation will be at Eagle Lake Funeral Home from 5 until 7 pm on Saturday, April 24, 2021.
Funeral service will be at 2 pm on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at United Methodist Church in Eagle Lake with burial to follow at Masonic Cemetery.