Eason Balch

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Samuel Eason Balch (born September 5, 1919 in Madison, Madison County; died April 14, 2018 in Birmingham) was an attorney and partner in the firm of Martin, Vogtle, Balch & Bingham, now called Balch & Bingham.

Balch was the fourth of five children born to Joseph Austin and Clara Irene Vaughn Balch of Madison. He graduated as the valedictorian of Madison High School in 1936 and earned a bachelor of science in business at the University of Alabama School of Commerce in 1941. He joined the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant for service in World War II. For the next two years he helped organize and train ordinance units in the Southern United States.

In Spring 1943 Balch married the former Elizabeth Gordon Brock of Richmond, Virginia, whom he had met during his training. Soon later he was transferred to Fort Pickett, Virginia and promoted to captain before being sent to La Havre, France to command an ordinance company supplying small arms and vehicles to U.S. forces advancing on the front. After the Allies took control of Mannheim, Germany his unit was assigned to repair and operate a Daimler-Benz truck factory with the help of local civilian workers. Several months later the unit was transferred to the Pacific theater of war, but were still two days away from arriving in the Philippines when Japan surrendered. He left the Army with the rank of Major.

After the war, Balch enrolled in law school at the University of Virginia. After graduating in 1948 he moved to Birmingham and joined the firm of Martin, Turner & McWhorter, headed by former Attorney General of Alabama Logan Martin.

Balch was made managing partner of the firm after the departure of Alvin Vogtle in 1962, and remained in that position until his retirement in 1988. During his tenure he oversaw significant growth of the company, as well as its diversification into general corporate law, banking and bonds. He was an active participant in the Edison Electric Institute Legal Committee, and on the Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Section of the American Bar Association. He also had a seat on the board of directors of the Alabama Power Company. He was a long-time member of the Cathedral Church of the Advent.

Balch died in 2018. He was predeceased by his wife, Betsy, and son, Robert. He was survived by another son, Samuel Jr, by three daughters; Gordon, Gene and Ann; and by 9 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.