EASLEY — Mary Ruth Davenport Ballard, widow of Henry Grady Ballard, Sr. and daughter of the late Furman Bennett and Maude Yeargin Davenport went into the arms of our Lord and Savior Friday morning, March 7, 2014.
She was residing at National Health Care of Greer at the time of her passing. Her earthly home was located at 191 Ballard Hill Road in the Crosswell Community of Easley, S.C. Mrs. Ballard was born August 18, 1924, in Anderson County.
Surviving are her eight children: Henry Grady Ballard, Jr. of Easley, Dave Ballard and daughter-in-law, Cindy Ballard of Pelzer, Dr. Rebecca Ballard Stiegel and son-in-law, Dr. Ed Stiegel of Easley, Liz (Libby) Newell and son-in-law Malcolm Newell of Cumming, GA, Mary Anne Ballard and Frances Carpenter of Smyrna, GA, Margaret (Buddy) Allen and son-in-law Chuck Allen of Indian Trails, NC, Jane Dyer and son-in-law John Dyer of Easley, and Jo Seekins and son-in-law Patrick Seekins of Cary, N.C,
Surviving grandchildren are Will Newell (Stephanie) of New Orleans, Nathan Stiegel of Easley, Allison Brooke Stiegel-Lee (Trent) of Travelers Rest, Julie Phillips (Andy) of Marietta, GA, Candace Spradlin of Greenville, Bill and Tony Dyer of Easley, Hannah and Olivia Ballard of Pelzer, Daniel and Aaron Seekins of Cary, N.C. , and Hank and Leona Ballard of Easley. Step grandchildren, but equally loved are: Lt. Col. Max Dyer (Katie) of Baltimore, MD, Amy Dyer of San Antonio, Texas, and Jamie Allen of Charlotte, N.C.
Surviving great grandchildren are Justin Ramsey Phillips and Hallie Phillips of Marietta, GA, Karter and Kayden Stiegel-Lee of Travelers Rest, Maryn Kate Stiegel of Columbia, William and Andrew Newell of New Orleans, Rebecca and Andrew Dyer of Baltimore, Sydney Lee of Powdersville and Kate Acuna of San Antonio, Texas.
Mrs. Ballard is also survived by her sister-in-laws, Norma Dressler Ballard, widow of Heyward Ballard of Piedmont, SC and Gladys Davenport, widow of Harold Davenport of Iva, in addition to many loved nieces and nephews.
Mary Ruth graduated from Anderson Girls' High School in 1941 and Brevard College in 1943. She served as a devoted wife to Grady and mother to eight children. She served as the Director of the Women's Missionary Union at Pendleton Street Baptist Church, Greenville, for three years, served on various committees of the church, and ministered as an assistant Sunday School teacher and Circle leader at Pendleton Street Baptist.
She was a charter member and past president of the Crosswell Women's Club, an active member of the Fort Prince George Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, and a member of the Nelle Singleton Art Class for several years. She pursued her passion of art by painting and giving her art work to her family and friends.
Until her death, she taught art classes at NHC for the residents who wanted to learn to paint. She has displayed her work at several art shows and in the homes of her children and grandchildren. Her greatest accomplishment was rearing eight children, all of whom love the Lord and have pursued their gifts and passions to honor God and their parents. It was remarkable that she was able to get eight children dressed and ready for church three or four times a week, to school every day, and all to college to pursue their education.
She was an amazing artist, gifted writer, avid reader, and never left the house without her make-up and jewelry on- a true "Southern Lady." She taught her daughters how to cook, decorate, and host dinners and parties in order to entertain with "Southern" grace and kindness.
Funeral services were at Thomas Mcafee Funeral Home, Northwest, on Sunday, March 9, 2014, followed by burial at Beaverdam Baptist Church Cemetery in Williamston, S.C. next to her beloved husband of 51 years and infant son who died February 26, 1963.
Though Mrs. Ballard loved to grow and create flower arrangements, she has requested that memorials be made to National Health Care at 1305 Boiling Springs Road, Greer, SC 29650, in appreciation to their staff that cared for her so lovingly for many years or to Pendleton Street Baptist Church Endowment Fund, Greenville, S.C.