Thurman F. "Tooks" Ballard was born in Carlsbad, N.M., on Dec. 2, 1932, to Harley F. and Alice Ballard. He passed from this life Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, at home. Tooks was raised on the family ranch southwest of White's City on the Upper Black River and graduated from Carlsbad High School. He served two years of active service in the U.S. Army
Tooks farmed and drove a fertilizer truck for Craft Fertilizer for several years. He worked at Carlsbad Caverns National Park as an assistant elevator mechanic, where he met his wife Wah-Leah Cox. They were married on Jan. 21, 1960. Tooks and Wah-Leah moved to Peach Springs, Ariz., where he installed elevators. When they returned to Carlsbad, Tooks worked for Southwest Potash Mine for nine years and later returned to work at Carlsbad Caverns, where he worked as an elevator mechanic until his retirement in 1982.
He was active in the New Mexico Mounted Patrol, the Masonic Lodge AMFM No. 21, Order of Eastern Star No. 54, and the International Order of Odd Fellows for many years.
He is survived by his wife of the home, Wah-Leah Ballard; daughter, Beverly Schrock and husband, Glenn; son, Randy Ballard and wife, Shawn; grandchildren: Danica and Samantha Watson, Nickole, Jacob and Jordan Ballard; great-grandchildren: McKenzie Stoltzfus and Jayda Srader; brothers: Jerry Ballard and wife, Shirley, Harley Ballard and wife, Debby, and John Ballard and wife, Mary Lou; and sister, Kathleen Hood and husband, Gene, all of Carlsbad. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Mittie Jo Smart; an infant daughter, Elizabeth; and granddaughter, Michelle Stoltzfus.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, at Sunset Church of Christ with Mike Veilleux officiating. Pallbearers will be Frank Ballard, Jimmy Ballard, Dale Ballard, Winston Ballard, Ray Ballard and Lynn Ballard. Burial will follow at Carlsbad Cemetery. Carlsbad Veterans Honor Guard will provide military honors. Memorial contributions may be made to a hospice of your choice. Condolences may be expressed at dentonwood.com.