Richard E. Balzhiser (b. 1932, d. 2012) served as a Republican on the Ann Arbor City Council representing Ward 5 from April 1965 to April 1967. He was a candidate for Mayor of Ann Arbor.


Dr. Richard E. Balzhiser May 27, 1932 - December 23, 2012 Resident of Menlo Park Dr. Richard "Dick" Balzhiser of Menlo Park, CA passed away peacefully in Granite Bay, CA on December 23, 2013 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He is preceded in death by his wife of 56 years Christine K. Balzhiser, his mother Esther Merrill Werner, and his father Earl Balzhiser. Dick was born and raised in Wheaton, IL. He was an outstanding student and a star athlete at Wheaton High School. His abilities on the football field caught the attention of then University of Michigan football coach Bennie Oosterbaan and he was recruited as a "spinning fullback" in the single wing formation Oosterbaan used offensively. At Michigan, Dick continued to excel in both the classroom and on the football field. He received B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering and an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering. In 1952 he became the first Michigan football player to earn first-team Academic All-American honors. Two years later he was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor for his accomplishments in the classroom and on the football field. He graduated at the top of his engineering class. Motivated by a desire to give back to the university and public service, he joined the Michigan chemical engineering faculty in 1961 and was named chairman of the chemical engineering department in 1970. He was twice elected to serve on the Ann Arbor, MI City Council and named as an outstanding young leader in the state of Michigan. In 1967 he was selected as a White House Fellow and served as an assistant to Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense and participated in a number of important assignments including an assessment of the Vietnam War that later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1968, Dick was asked to join the White House Office of Science and Technology as Assistant Director for Energy, Environment and National Resources. It was here that he met Chauncey Starr and became aware of the electric utility industry's intent to form the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an organization that would manage a $500 million/year collaborative research and development program on behalf of electric utilities located around the world. Dick was impressed with Dr. Starr, who served as EPRI's first president, and the challenge and opportunity EPRI presented. He was also excited by the prospect of working and living in the California Bay Area. He joined EPRI in 1973 in the role of Director, Fossil Fuels and Advanced Systems and the family moved to Menlo Park shortly thereafter. At EPRI he subsequently became Vice President of Research and Development in 1979, and Executive Vice President in 1987 before assuming the Presidency in 1988. After retiring from EPRI in August 1996, Dick remained active as President Emeritus while serving on the boards of Reliant Energy, Aerospace, Electrosource, and Nexant. He also served on advisory boards for the National Renewables Energy Laboratory (NREL), the National Research Council, California's Public Interest Energy Research Program (PIER), and was a contributing member of two PCAST studies requested by the White House. He was published extensively, including two prominent thermodynamic texts, and spoke and lectured frequently to utilities, universities and public groups. Dick was the recipient of the University of Michigan Chemical Engineering Inaugural Alumni Society Merit Award in 1992 and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1994. He was selected for the Eminent Engineer award by Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society, the Bay Area Engineering Council in February 1995, and designated a Fellow in California's Council of Science and Technology. In 2002 Dick was inducted into the Verizion Academic All-America Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the New York Hilton Hotel. The selection was to recognize "accomplishments in academics, athletics, professional career, and community service".This was a particularly memorable event for him and Chris, as well as, his children and grandchildren who were able to attend and share in the recognition. Finally, he was honored to receive a lifetime achievement award from his alma mater for distinguished contributions both to the university and society at large. Dick is survived by two daughters Michele McHall of Larkspur, CA and Patti Parry of Livermore, CA; two sons Robert Balzhiser of Folsom, CA and Gary Balzhiser of The Woodlands, TX; six grandchildren: Jeffrey, Kristin, Gregory, Lacey, Lindsey and Megan and one great grandson: Brayden. His love for and commitment to family will be remembered by all of them. A memorial service is planned for 1:00 PM, Tuesday January 22, 2013 at Valley Presbyterian Church, 945 Portola Rd., Portola Valley, CA. Personal and professional friends are all welcome. A reception will immediately follow the service at the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, 2900 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park, CA. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association at