BALL, Kenneth Jr., CIA Foreign Broadcast Information Service Editor and Bureau Chief died in his sleep August 4, 2013 at the Capital Caring Hospice in Arlington, Va. Ken was the son of Goldie Mae Mallow and Kenneth Glenn Ball. He was predeceased by his loving wife, Mary Anne Fields Ball, on March 25, 2011; and by his brother, Bob in August 1985. Ken is survived by his four children and their spouses, Craig and Ellen Ball of Cambridge, Mass., Brian and Jennifer Ball of Richmond, Anne and David Lauer of Falls Church City, Alison and Buzz White of Charlottesville; 12 grandchildren, Ian, Alexander and Elizabeth Ball, Kitty and Bobby Ball, Kate, Colin, and Mary Lauer, and Melissa (Clay Donne), Micky, Emily, and Tommy White; and his sister, Jeannine DeVault of Morgantown, W.Va. Born September 5, 1925 in Morgantown, Ken graduated from Morgantown High School, joined the Navy in 1943, where he trained as a naval aviator and graduated from George Washington University in 1949 with a B.A. in education. In 1950, he began his career as an editor with the CIA's newly formed Foreign Broadcast Information Service, and he served several tours as a Bureau Chief, including in Saigon, Vietnam, and multiple locations in Europe. Aptly described by someone who knew him well as "one of a kind," Ken, during his Saigon tour, helped FBIS Vietnamese staff evade the Viet Cong during the Tet Offensive by hiding with them for weeks and living on C rations for which he earned the CIA's Intelligence Medal of Merit and a medal for civilian service from the Department of State. After his retirement with a Career Intelligence Medal in 1978, he built custom houses and worked as a realtor. He also spent as much time as possible with his grandchildren, all of whom he adored. Ken was devoted to his wife of 65 years, particularly during the lengthy illness before her death. Until his death, he honed his crossword puzzle skills, enjoyed classical music, golfing, swimming, walking and supporting some political causes for which his children forgave him. The family will receive friends on Monday August 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the home of Brian and Jennifer Ball. Donations in lieu of flowers should be made to the Capital Caring Hospice, 4715 15th Street North, Arlington, Va. 22205.
This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.