Cover photo for Phyllis Balken's Obituary
Phyllis Balken Profile Photo
1943 Phyllis 2022

Phyllis Balken

February 22, 1943 — January 21, 2022

Phyllis Balken, 78, a resident of Fergus Falls, died Friday, January 21, 2022, at PioneerCare in Fergus Falls.

Phyllis was born on February 22, 1943, to Orris and Clarice (Martinson) Grina in Fergus Falls. She grew up in Fergus Falls and then Rothsay. She attended Rothsay Public School and graduated in 1961. Phyllis went on to attend school and graduated from St. John’s Hospital in Fargo as an X-Ray Technician in 1963. She was the oldest of two children.

On July 6, 1963, she married her high school sweetheart, DuWayne Balken at Hamar Lutheran Church in Rothsay. She continued to work at St. John’s as an X-Ray Technician until 1965. At that time, they moved to Minneapolis, then Brainerd (where she worked at the State Hospital on the Children’s Unit) until 1975, when they moved to Rothsay. They owned and operated Grina-Our Own Hardware store for several years. Phyllis was also very involved in helping her mother run Grina Funeral Home in Rothsay.

Phyllis took pride in being a central figure in the family, dedicating her life to raising her three children. Phyllis was an active member of Hamar Lutheran Church, involved in Rothsay Women’s Club, and Rothsay Focus Committee. Phyllis volunteered at Lake Region Healthcare for numerous years.

Her interests included family and caring for others. She devoted much of her time and energy as a caregiver to family members and helping community members. She was always helping people. Other interests include gardening, traveling with family and friends (especially loved her summer trips with the grandchildren), singing in the church choir, visiting with others over coffee, baking and early morning walks with friends.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Orris and Clarice Grina; grandparents, Gilbert and Minnie Martinson and Joseph and Gunda Grina, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Survivors include her devoted husband, DuWayne Balken of Fergus Falls; three children, Robin (Steven) Lerbakken of Farmington, Darin (Renee) Balken of Montevideo, and Troy (Sonja) Balken of Dilworth; six grandchildren, Justin Lerbakken, Tyler Lerbakken, Kara Balken, Erin Balken, Ellie Balken, and Brenna Balken; one great-grandson, Kenma (parents, Tyler and Roberta); brother, Bruce Grina of Deadwood, SD; two aunts, Marcella Nettestad and MaryAnne Martinson, and numerous cousins.

Memorials may be directed to New Life Lutheran Church or PARTNERS, both in Rothsay.

Service: 12:00 p.m. Friday, January 28, 2022, at New Life Lutheran Church in Rothsay, with visitation one-hour prior to the service at the church. The service will be live-streamed, pleas refer back for a link prior to the start of the service.
Clergy: Reverend David Strom
Interment: Hamar Cemetery, rural Rothsay
Arrangements provided by the Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.
Online condolences may be sent to
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, January 28, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Friday, January 28, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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