James R. Ballard, 85, of Henderson County, NC died with his family near his side after a brief illness late Saturday afternoon, November 30, 2019 at Carolina Village Medical Center.
Mr. Ballard was born on Saturday, December 26, 1933 in Putnam County, WV to the late Plymal and Elizabeth (Harrison) Ballard. He attended Marshall University in Huntington, WV, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering science in 1958. On June 16, 1955 while at Marshall he married his loving wife of 64 years the former Mary Martin who survives. He proudly served his country in the United States Army from 1954 to 1956, during the Korean War, stationed mostly at Fort Sill, OK, where his first child, Mike was born. In 1958 he moved to Atlanta, GA, where his second child, Kathy was born and five years later a third child, Peggy was born. He had worked and lived in the Atlanta area until 1980, during which time he held several positions in the engineering field, raising a family, and attending Georgia State University, earning a Master’s Degree in Decision Sciences in 1974. Moving to Alexandria, LA, in 1980 Mr. Ballard continued to work in the engineering field becoming owner, president and CEO of Ballard and Associates within five years. A mid-size consulting firm, it primarily provided design and construction management services to the United State Army Corps of Engineers throughout the eastern and central United States. He sold the company and retired in 1994 at the age of 60, having been registered as a professional engineer in 24 States throughout his working career.
In 1994 he and his wife, Mary moved to Hendersonville, NC. where they have remained. In his 20 plus years of retirement, he has served on the boards of 9 local service organizations, including the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, the local chapter of the American Red Cross, the Four Seasons Rotary Club, the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and the local chapter of SCORE, which provides free guidance and counseling to start- up businesses. During his SCORE career he has worked with over 1000 people across the country helping at least six successful businesses in Hendersonville become established and has taught business courses at two local colleges. He also left a lasting legacy working with the Aging Projects, Inc. He served on the board of directors and in various capacities including vice-president and was recognized at the National Award Presentation in 2015 as the Volunteer of the Year. His hobbies and interests include travel, golf, duck hunting, Rotary Club, ham radio and especially chess. He was an avid and accomplished player and a lifetime member of the U.S. Chess Federation.
In addition to his wife he leaves behind to cherish his memory his 3 children, Mike, Kathy and Peggy; 5 grandchildren, Michelle, Brian, Jennifer, Peter and Alex; and 6 great-grandchildren.
He was a man who believed in making a difference and indeed he did, making the world a better place by touching so many lives. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
At the family’s request, the services will be private.
Memorial contributions may be offered on behalf of Mr. Ballard to the Carolina Village Residents in Need Fund or to the Carolina Village Medical and Care Center Fund, Hendersonville, NC.
Arrangements are in the care of Shuler Funeral Home of Hendersonville, NC.