Wendy June Zabel (Wakeman) Balzer was born April 15, 1949 to June and Harold Zabel. Born and raised in Central New Jersey, she headed to Wheaton College (Illinois) where she majored in psychology and then continued with graduate studies at Michigan State University. A school psychologist for the first half of her long career, Wendy transitioned to higher education administration and completed doctoral work at Northern Arizona University. She served at Bethel College in Minnesota, and in California at Fresno Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary. In 1996, Wendy joined the first team to visit the Spring of Life Church in Ukraine, the new sister church of First Baptist of Cambridge. She often returned to teach Christian Education at the Kremenchug Bible Institute and, also, worked extensively with Slavic international students while in California. This year Kremenchug Evangelical Seminary and READ Ministries is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the counselor/librarian training program with the induction of its 21st class. Wendy was the first visiting professor in this program. Memorial gifts in her honor will help fund the program in this special year, including distributing to its graduates a new Russian Bible commentary on Proverbs. Memorials may be designated to READ Ministries: Church Librarian/Counselor Training at Readministries.org or mailed to READ Ministries, 1001 1st Ave. East, Cambridge, MN 55008. `Wendy passed away on June 12, 2020. She is survived by her beloved husband of 47 years, David John Balzer; aunt, Evelyn (John) Treacy of Sun City West, Arizona; sister, Lauren Bensinger (Kenneth) of Scottsdale, Arizona; sisters-in-law, Jeanne (James) Eckert of Tennessee, and Ruth (Roger) Tuinstra of Michigan; three nieces and five nephews, and 14 grandnieces and 14 grandnephews. A service of remembrance will be held at the First Baptist Church in Cambridge on a date to be determined later.
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