Les was raised in Niagara Falls and attended High School there. He continued his education in Genesee, PA in Welding School, and later Trucking School in Niagara. Between welding and trucking he met Sharon at a birthday party. He proposed while bowling one night by trying to hand off his ring, leading to minor confusion. He found his career in manufacturing at Air Preheater of Wellsville as a welder, and later MK of Hornell. Outside of work he was a self-proclaimed stand-up comedian, stunt car driver who enjoyed fishing, hunting, working on cars, motorcycles, and loved animals. He was a volunteer firefighter, life-long church member, and Odd Fellow.
In addition to his wife of 54 years, Sharon Balch, he is survived by: two sons, Dean (Vanessa) Balch, and Robert (Brenda) Balch; three daughters, Candy (Mark) Williams, Nikki Wilbur, and Alie Balch; 18 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; siblings Larry, Danny, and Sharon; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a daughter, Dawn Balch on March 17, 2023.
Friends are invited to call on Monday, June 12, 2023, from 12 noon to 1 pm at the Yorks Corners Mennonite Church, 3350 County Road 29, Wellsville, NY 14895. A memorial service for both Leslie and Dawn will follow at 1 pm. Burial will be in Yorks Corners Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to Allegany County Cancer Services, PO Box 534, Wellsville, NY 14895. To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.