In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Lloydene Dorothy Umstot Balyeat, 96

Lloydene Dorothy Umstot Balyeat, 1925-2021
IMB Photo

Lloydene Dorothy Umstot Balyeat, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Argentina, died Dec. 31, 2021. She was 96.

Balyeat was born Sept. 18, 1925, in Hutchinson, Kansas, to the late Lloyd and Helen Umstot. When Balyeat was 5 years old, the family moved to Wichita, Kansas, where she graduated from Wichita High School. She later received the Bachelor of Arts from Ottawa (Kansas) University.

Balyeat wrote when seeking missionary appointment that the church was the center of her life from the time she professed faith in Christ as her Savior at age 10. Although she enjoyed sports, cooking and sewing, she said she loved “every minute” of her church activities and made a public commitment to foreign missions at age 17.

At Ottawa University, she met a young ministerial student, Kent Windsor Balyeat, and they were married in 1946.

For several years, Lloydene worked in a variety of jobs as Kent attended seminary, taught music, and served in music ministry at churches in Oklahoma and Texas. When Kent felt called to international missions, Lloydene knew she had made her commitment years earlier.

In 1961, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed the Balyeats as missionaries to Argentina. After language study in Costa Rica, they moved to Buenos Aires, where Kent worked in the school of music at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Buenos Aires. Lloydene ministered in the neighborhood, offering candle-making and cooking classes, decorating for weddings and other events and making wedding dresses. According to her family, she sewed pants for students at the school across the street, made vests and ties for the seminary choir, sold her candles to help neighbors in need and much more.

After Kent was killed in an accident in Buenos Aires in 1983, Lloydene chose to stay in Argentina, where she served as dietitian of the seminary cafeteria, preparing daily meals for the student body.

She retired as a missionary in 1988 and worked at the World Mission Center of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, for another 19 years before retiring at age 81.

Lloydene was preceded in death by her daughter Merry Carol and her husband of 37 years, Kent. She is survived by her children, Michael, David and Susan; eight grandchildren; and 14 great grandchildren.

A graveside service was held Jan. 15, 2022, at Eastside Cemetery, Hutchinson, Kansas, and a memorial service was held Jan. 17 at Lake Church, Arlington, Texas.

Read an obituary here.