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Thomas "Wyatt" Balman

Thomas Thomas “Wyatt” Balman, age 20, died on Tuesday October 13, 2020, at the Wamego City Hospital, Wamego, Kansas.

He was born on July 7, 2000, in Houston, Texas, the son of John and Seana (Barnhill) Balman. Wyatt was currently a junior at Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California.

Wyatt loved swimming and coaching. He fell in love with California, for the beach, the mountains, and the people. He was a Scholar All America Collegiate Athlete, with dreams of attending medical school, followed by training as an Obstetrical/Gynecological surgeon, and then serving with Doctors without Borders. He was driven to learn about the history of the politics and socio-economic conditions of people suffering injustices. Wyatt felt blessed with opportunities to learn about cultures and traditions different from his own, which is why he chose to go to Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California. He would awaken before swim practice nearly every morning, and he surfed. He would always share great stories about his swim team, and about working with the Athletic Department. He was so grateful for his amazing coaches. He missed being at SUA during the pandemic, but still loved zooming and facetime with his friends, teachers, and team.

Wyatt was a gifted pianist and finger-style guitar player. He loved singing and performing, and everyone loved hearing him whether at church or in a band. He could often be heard throughout the family home testing his perfect pitch against the piano. His faith was an essential part of his life. He never hesitated when asked to lend a helping hand. Learning about the peaceful charity in other faiths enriched his spiritual journey immensely.

He had a great passion for coaching the youth of the community. Having researched the dire need for swim instructors nationwide for kids with autism, he was inspired to be a swim coach for the Special Olympics.

Wyatt had humility and empathy that enabled him to open his heart to others. His immeasurable compassion allowed him to be an ear for friends from all over the world from Ghana to Nepal, and all around the Pacific Rim. His death is a tragic loss. It is rare for someone to have touched so many, so deeply, with a smile. But Wyatt is that someone. He is loved and missed by many. We will always be proud of the man he chose to be.

Survivors include his parents: John and Seana Balman of the home; siblings: August Balman of Charleston, SC, Jonas, Juliet, Ethan and Catherine Balman all of Manhattan. Additional survivors include maternal grandmother Donna Gooden of Manhattan.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Monday October 19, 2020, at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church 2900 Kimball Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas. Social distancing and the use of face masks are required in the church. A private Mass of Christian Burial will be at a later date.

In lieu of flowers,memorial contributions may be made to the Thomas “Wyatt” Balman Memorial Fund for a Manhattan, KS, indoor aquatic center in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

Online condolences may be left for the family by clicking on “send condolences” on this page.

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