VALPARAISO, IN - Wendi Merbitz-Balda, 42 of Valparaiso, formerly of Roeland Park, KS passed away peacefully with her family and friends by her side on Monday, November 6, 2017, after a courageous eight year battle against breast cancer. She was born January 26, 1975 in Los Angeles, CA to Richard Merbitz and Teresa (Keyes) Heil. Wendi had a happy childhood growing up in the mountains of Idyllwild, California where she first accepted the Lord and cultivated her love of things like dance and the outdoors. While Wendi had many addresses, those that knew her know that her home was always at the beach. Moving to Kansas City as a teenager, Wendi continued her lifelong habit of 'collecting friends' making and inspiring many people along the way. A highly disciplined student, Wendi graduated with honors from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO with a Master's degree in Physical Therapy. She was able to use her spiritual gifts of service and mercy working as a Physical Therapist, and quickly grew from being a practitioner to area rehab director to consultant for health care companies. As successful as her career was, her true passion was serving others (youth ministry was a favorite). Wendi also loved teaching fitness classes at the YMCA, spending time and running at the beach, and above all else, doing activities with her children. All through her life Wendi inspired the best in others with her unshakable faith, integrity, joyful attitude, and beautiful smile. She will be remembered by her family as a loving daughter, wife, sister, and mother. Wendi will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

Wendi is survived by Christopher Balda, husband; children: Faith and R.J., along with her parents, Teresa and Ed Heil of Lake Havasu, AZ, and brother, Erick Bryce of CA. She was preceded in death by her father, Richard Merbitz.

Visitation will be Sunday, November 12, 2017 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. while the funeral will be Monday November 13, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. All services are at the Valparaiso Nazarene Church, 2702 E. Glendale Blvd, Valparaiso, IN, 46383. There will be an additional service for our Kansas City friends and family details forthcoming.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Youthfront at either https://youthfront.com/ or at 4715 Rainbow Blvd, Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66205.

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