Dr. Harpal Singh Bal, age 91, of Ames, Iowa passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames on March 4, 2018.
He was born on November 9, 1926 in Rangoon, Burma, son of Gurcharan Kaur and Dalip Singh Bal. He joined Lahore Sikh National College in Lahore, India in 1946 and following the partition of India, enrolled in St. Xavier College in Calcutta. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at the Veterinary College in Hissar, India where he then taught as an assistant professor.
Harpal received his Master's Degree from Ohio State University and his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1969. He taught at Iowa State University at the College of Veterinary Medicine for over 30 years, retiring in 1996 as a full professor. His research involved studying the connection between birth defects and pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides. The student body voted to give him the Outstanding Service Award for "performing outstanding services and making outstanding contributions to students, above and beyond their normal duties."
Harpal married Harbhajan Kaur Randhawa in 1954. He is survived by Harbhajan, his brother retired Brigadier Dr. Barinder S. Bal, his children Goga Bal, Jyoti Sargent, Sarvinder Naberhaus, and Neelinder Bal, eight grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
A celebration of his life will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, March 10 at Crossroads Baptist Church, 57011 Highway 30, Ames, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to "Sikhs of Iowa Khalsa Heritage Inc." and sent to Harbhajan Bal, 5746 Felber St., Ames, Iowa 50010
Nick, Carol, Ava, and Amelia, my heart is with you during this difficult time. The Bal's have always been so welcoming to me when I've visited. Dr. Bal will be greatly missed. I will keep you and the whole Bal family in my thoughts and prayers.
All my love,
Although death is the ultimate truth of life, it is very difficult to accept this reality, when your loved ones leave. You want them to be with you forever. Harpal uncle was the brightest star and a towering personality of our family. He was an epitome of knowledge, intellect and a fighter till the end. We had the good fortune of having spent some wonderful moments of our life in his company. Not only us, but our children were also subject to his affection and love. Being in the army, we were mostly posted away from our hometown. Uncle always made it a point to visit us, every time he came to India ignoring the travel costs and inconvenience. He was always the star attraction of all the social gatherings. So magnetic was his personality, his sense of humor, his oration, command over his mother tongue and in depth knowledge of history, science, religion and scriptures, that one can write a unending book on his life. He always made sense. He often remarked, 'Small minds discuss people and great minds discuss ideas.' Uncle's memory always baffled us. He didn't seem to forget anything he read once. His melodious voice will always resonate in our ears. We were lucky to have spent some great time with him, which will stay etched in our hearts till we live. Even when due to his ill health, he could not travel to India, he was always his joyful best on the phone. We are heartbroken today, with a lifelong regret of not being able to be with him in his last days. May God give strength to Puji and the complete family to face this irreplaceable loss. We were blessed and lucky to be born in a family where we got an opportunity to savor his love & affection. You will always stay in our hearts. We will always cherish the beautiful time spent with you.
Sandeep & Jasmeet
Winter evenings full of laughter and music. With uncleji and Bhuji singing duets, Mom also accompanying them, the words of wisdom , sometimes the old jokes repeated again, whiskey in crystal glasses being refilled constantly by dad. Your visits to India form a beautiful part of landscape of memories from our growing up days. You were a person so alive, so generous , so large hearted and so clear hearted that I can never think of you in past tense . I wish I could give you a hug one last time and say goodbye but you are alive in my heart and your legacy lives on.
The void Uncle has left behind can never be filled by any other. My love and hugs for you dear Nick. Lets try and remember him with a smile so that he is happy as he watches us from above. Wish I was there when Uncle leaves on his final journey.
Our sympathies are with you Neel, Carol, Ava, and Amelia - as well as the rest of the Bal family during this difficult time.
-Brenda and Jason Fales
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Ames, Iowa 50010