Norma Louise Wheeler Hinck Balderston, 85, formerly of Star, Idaho, went to her heavenly home on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. She died at home in Adrian, Oregon surrounded by family who will miss her dearly.
Norma was born Aug. 7, 1935 at Moab, Utah—the second of six children born to Vontella Lorraine Nielson and Joseph Oliver Wheeler. She grew up in Moab and moved to Star Valley, Wyoming as a teenager, where she met Franklin Neil Hinck. She and Neil were married Oct. 17, 1952 at the LDS church in Etna, Wyoming. They went on to have eight children. Norma was later sealed as an eternal family with Neil and took comfort in that knowledge.
In 1958, Neil and Norma moved to Star, Idaho where they operated a small dairy farm and later the N/N Blazer Horse Ranch on Can-Ada Road. They also lived briefly in Garden Valley. Neil was the original developer of the American Blazer Horse breed, and together, he and Norma founded the Blazer Horse Association in 1967. Norma served as Secretary of the association for 39 years.
An accomplished equestrian in her own right, Norma was also a talented entrepreneur. In addition to managing the ranch and association, she sold Jafra cosmetics for 50 years. She helped many people with reflexology treatments and became a Gold-level distributor in Nikken International. She was also an active, faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where she held many callings.
After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her thirties, Norma began to explore the benefits of natural medicine after traditional medicine wasn’t as helpful. She was able to live and thrive well into her eighties, and passed the legacy of herbal treatment on to her children – despite some initial reservations on their part.
In 2005, she and Neil relocated to Adrian, Oregon and continued raising their beloved Blazer Horses. Norma also continued offering reflexology treatments up until her recent health decline. Following Neil’s passing, she married Lloyd Clyde Balderston, Aug. 25, 2010. “Pops,” as her kids call him, loved and cared for Norma through 11 years of marriage. Her children appreciate the care Lloyd provided in her final days.
Norma loved the Lord, her family, her garden, and her church friends. She also loved helping others feel better. She instilled in her family a deep sense of hard work and personal responsibility. Even during trying times, she always kept a smile on her face and put her best foot forward. Her sense of tenacity and grace will be deeply missed.
She is survived by her loving husband, Lloyd, and her children: Troy (Terri) Hinck, Cascade; Linda (Dave) Crawford, Emmett; Deby (Launie) Mashburn, Adrian; Brenda (Mike) Harper, Meridian; Tammy (Chris) Warr, Nampa; Teresa (Mike) Jardine, Nampa; Sherry (Doug) Brotherson, Emmett. Also survived by 16 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren; a brother, Fred (Sharon) Wheeler of Kuna; and stepchildren Jeana, Mark and Lisa. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Neil; a son, Rusty Lee Hinck; son-in-law, Larry Nelson; siblings Dean and Kenneth Wheeler, Judy Atwood, and Bonnie Nebeker.
The family would like to thank Heart & Home Hospice for their care in Mom’s final days. A special thank you to Deby, Brenda and Tammy for going above and beyond for Mom and Dad. Deby has been their rock since 1990. Brenda devoted the entire last year to overseeing Mom’s care. And Tammy helped in so many other ways. Words cannot convey how much we appreciate all that was given.
Funeral services will be Saturday, May 22 at 12:00 p.m., at the LDS Church, 848 Owyhee Ave., Nyssa, Oregon. The family will meet with friends from 11-12 at the church prior to the service. A separate graveside service will be at the Star, Idaho Cemetery, Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
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