Fred Balden, age 88, of Springfield, passed away Sunday, September 30, 2012, at Cox Walnut Lawn Hospital, Springfield. Fred was born in Monett, Missouri, on March 26, 1924, to Fred H. Balden Sr. and Minnie E. (Capehart) Balden. He graduated from Monett High School, and then joined the 8th Army Air Corps., serving in WWII as a flight engineer and gunner on a B-24 Liberator Bomber. While stationed in England, he was part of 36 successful missions over Europe, including three over Normandy on D-Day. He received many citations including three Bronze Stars, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Croix de Guerra of France. After the war, on March 24, 1950, he married Thelma Graber of Pierce City, Mo. and they had four children. Fred received his education at Drury University in Springfield, Mo. and later earned graduate degrees from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and the University of Missouri, Colombia, spending a number of his summers furthering his education. Fred started his 30 year long career in education as a teacher at Jarrett Junior High, and then helped open Parkview High School in 1956. He served there until 1983. He loved keeping in touch with his many students and was as proud of their achievements as he was of his own. Fred loved crape myrtles, Emmett Otter, birds, and airplanes. He always had a story to tell and never forgot anyone. His favorite hobby was grocery shopping for bargains. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; brother, James Balden and grandson, Jack Dalton Mayhall. He is survived by his sons, Allen Balden and Fred Balden III; daughter, Sammy Mayhall (Mike Hackworth), all of Springfield, Mo.; daughter, Sally Wade (Leroy) New Bloomfield, Mo.; five grandchildren, Caleb Mayhall, Bridgeton, N.J., Molly Mayhall (Bill Vandervoort), Austin, Texas, Cara Coats and her mother, Debby Coats, Springfield, Mo., Madeline Vandergrift (Jacob), Springfield, Mo., and Hannah Wade, New Bloomfield, Mo.; and a great-grandchild due soon. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; brother, James Balden and grandson, Jack Dalton Mayhall. Funeral services will be Thursday, October 4, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. in Gorman-Scharpf Brentwood Chapel with Pastor Gary Griffin officiating, with burial following in Maple Park Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, October 3, 2012, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the funeral home. The family suggests that memorials be made to Crosslines, 1710 E. Chestnut Expressway, Springfield, MO 65802 or Ozarks Food Harvest, 2810 N. Cedarbrook Ave. Springfield, MO 65802.