TUPELO – Gus M. Ballard, 88, died Saturday, April 19, 2014, at Baptist Hospice North Mississippi in Oxford after a short illness. He was born in Mooreville on May 14, 1925, to David S. and Allie Mae Morgan Ballard. For the past 28 years, he lived in the Endville community. After graduating from Tupelo High School, he volunteered for the Army-Air Force in 1943, serving as a ball turret gunner on the B-47s. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross Metal of Honor and two Presidential Citations for his service.
Gus was a pioneer in the North Mississippi furniture manufacturing industry, going back to the early 1950s. Also, he owned retail furniture stores in Louisiana. He was on Gov. J.P. Coleman's staff from 1956 to 1960 and also served as a Tupelo Alderman in the 1960s. For several years, he served as a lay preacher in the Old Carnation St. Missionary Church.
He was a member of The Orchard. One of his favorite places to go was the Wednesday Bible study with the Hill Toppers from The Orchard. He loved the Lord with all his heart and if you were around him for a few minutes he would tell you how great his Lord is.
Gus loved and treasured his family and was loved in return. He will be greatly missed by his family and all who knew him.
Services will be 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at The Jefferson Street Chapel of W.E. Pegues Funeral Directors with Dr. James Stone and Father Glen Davis officiating. Burial will be in Bethel Cemetery.
Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Annette B. Ballard of Endville; his children, Stanford Ballard (Sandy) of Mooreville, Morgan Shelton (Jerry) of Tupelo, India Davis (Glen) of Birmingham, Ala., Gina Stonich (Dick) of Baton Rouge, La., and step-son, Bowen Raggett of Tupelo; four grand-children; and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Preston Ballard and Jack Ballard; four sisters, Freda Marion, Anna Laurie Bishop, Betty Waters and Maxine Rou; and several nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Skip Shelton, Craig Shelton, Andrew Davis, Paul Shelton, Justin Shelton and Jackson Shelton.
Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. today, April 21, 2014, at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Women First Resource Center, 215 N. Gloster St., Tupelo, MS 38804 or the Sanctuary Hospice House, 5159 W. Main St., Tupelo, MS 38801.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at www.peguesfuneralhome.com.