Robert Jackson Ball

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Robert Jackson Ball, 93, of Sterling, Alaska, passed away at St John's Lutheran Home, Billings, Mont., on Oct. 1, 2017. He was born on Aug. 3, 1924, to Andrew J. and Lucy A. (Shaver) Ball in Ashland, Mont. He lived in Montana, California, and his true home, Alaska. He first went to Kodiak Island, Alaska, at the age of 16 with his father.
Robert served in the US Marines from 1942 to 1946 and saw action in the Pacific during WWII. After discharge, he returned to Alaska for a year. In 1948, he came to Montana to visit family and while there, met Evagene Reese, who became his bride on July 24, 1949. In 1950, he drove the Alaska Highway for the first time. Evagene and their baby daughter joined him after a flight from Billings to Anchorage. A son was born in 1952 and daughters in 1956 and 1959. They spent the next 65 years in AK.
Robert worked construction and in 1960 changed careers and became an electrician. Later he and his wife formed their own electrical company. His favorite jobs were bush airports and he lighted up a good many of them. He was a pilot and flew his own plane to his jobs in Alaska's bush country. He worked hard but also enjoyed skiing and became an avid fisherman after retirement. At 84 he was skiing Red Lodge Mountain with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
After retirement, he and Evagene spent a good deal of time traveling, with trips to Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia. Soon he itched to get a hammer in his hand and began building a log cabin and a cottage on the Kenai River in Sterling.
In his 90th year he made his last drive alone up the 2700+ miles from Billings to Sterling over the Alaska Highway. He also began and completed his shop-garage building. He was a member of St. John Lodge in Hardin Mont. and Al Alaska Shriners in Anchorage, Alaska.
If friends choose, memorials may be made to the Travel Fund at the temple of their choice.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers; one sister; grandson, Hamilton Ball; and great-granddaughter, Stephanie Abell. Surviving are Evagene, his wife of 68 years; his 4 children, Julie Arneson of Billings Mont.; Gerald Ball of Sterling Alaska; Karen (Ed) von Breyman of Sterling, Alaska; Katherine Kalei of Honolulu, Hawaii; sister, Vivian Henderson of Chula Vista, Calif.; grandchildren, Rhonda (Roger) Abell; Brenda (Robert) Card; Jana (Steve) Kembel; Scott Ball; Holly (Mike) DaCorsi; Kamuela Kalei; Kaysha Kalei; great-grandchildren, Steven Abell; Brandon (Larrissa) Abell; Julia Preston; Sonja Kjostad; Brynja Kjostad; and Bella Porter.
No services are planned at this time. A memorial will be held at his favorite fishing spot on the Kenai River when the Reds are running next summer.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Oct. 24 to Oct. 25, 2017
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