Gary Keith Ballard, 77, passed away, 9:42 am, Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at his home, surrounded by family.
Born July 10, 1941 in Alton, he was the son of Charles Keith and Mary Elizabeth (Burris) Ballard.
Gary attended Wood River public schools and Southern Illinois University in Alton, graduating in 1963. He was active in the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity. He taught math at Roxana Jr. High School from 1963-1975, coaching baseball, basketball and football.
He became associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Hartford serving from 1973-75, then accepted a position as pastor for the Hudson Baptist Church in Hudson, IL, then Agape Fellowship in Lake Bloomington, IL from 1977 to 1990. He taught math in the El Paso High School for several years until 1990.
Gary appreciated the opportunity to serve with disaster relief organizations from 2005-2016. He enjoyed coaching golf at Southwestern High School while his grandsons played from 2012-2017. He trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1970 and it changed his life and his eternal destiny. Gary always shared God's Daily Walk Plan, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Jesus Christ".
He married the love of his life, Judith Helen Carlton on August 17, 1963. She survives.
Surviving also are sons, Gregory Ballard of Stephenville, TX, Ryan (Stacey) Ballard of Alton; daughter, Shelly (Jon) Devore of Lexington, IL; five grandchildren, Ashleigh (Ben) Hallgarth, Nicholas Ballard, Andrew Ballard, Jacob Devore, Bianna Devore; sisters, Debra Goskie and Brenda (Dan) Donohoo.
His parents; son, Rodney Ballard; and sister, Marilyn Zupan preceded in death.
A Celebration of Life memorial visitation will be held from 4-8 pm, Friday, February 8 at Lovejoy United Presbyterian Church, 2550 Rock Hill Rd, Wood River IL, 62095. Funeral services will at 11 am, Saturday at the church with Pastor Daniel Ervin officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to BJC Hospice in Alton or to Lovejoy Presbyterian Church.
Marks Mortuary in Wood River is in charge of arrangements.