Joseph A. Ballard, age 83, formerly of Hawley, died Friday, August 15, 2014. He is survived by his wife, the former Leila Schenck, whom he married in 1950 – they recently celebrated their 63rd anniversary. In recent years, he and Leila were residents of Wayne Woodlands Manor, Waymart, where he had become known as "The Mayor of Wayne Woodlands."|
Born November 24, 1930, in Teaneck, NJ, he was the son of the late King E. and Mary Ann (Tighe) Ballard.
From the age of 14 on, he was never unemployed. Near the end of his high school career, Joe left to join the Navy to help support his widowed mother. Upon his discharge from the Navy, he returned to Hawley and worked at the Hawley Silk Mill. He later moved to New Jersey to help build roundhouses for diesel engines in Hoboken, NJ. Returning again to Hawley, he was later employed as the manager for Hawley Oil Co. for 32 years until his retirement.
Hawley lost an all-star athlete, father, son, uncle, and grandfather when Joe passed in the 11th hour of 15 August 2014. He was well known on the ball field, the bowling lane, and dart leagues throughout the area and still holds many baseball records and is a member of the Wayne Area Sports Hall of Fame. In addition to playing ball, Joe passed on his knowledge of the game as a coach and umpire for many years up to and including his great grandchildren.
As unparalleled were his accomplishments on the ball field, Joe was much more accomplished as a family man. Upon his father's passing at age 14, Joe and his brother finished building their family home on Prospect Street, a home that still stands as evidence of fulfilled dreams. He cared for his mother for many years until she passed in 1970. He was an involved father and encouraged his daughters to do their best in all their endeavors. He even passed on his skills at shooting, hunting, and fishing to his daughter, Janet.
As a father-in-law, dad was like a second father, never hesitating to help or provide an example of what hard work could bring. As a grandfather, Pop had no equal. In addition to continuing the tradition of passing on his mechanical, carpentry, and sporting talents to his six grandchildren, Pop and Nan fostered a house full of love and welcome. There were no strangers in their home.
As a great grandfather to 17, he continued to emit such positive energy that no one could resist his warmth. Even to his final hours, Joe knew the names of all the residents and employees at Wayne Woodlands and he and Leila were part of an unofficial welcoming committee to new residents. Until his death, surrounded by the warmth and love by his wife Leila, Janet, Kurt, Jason, Aimee, and Nicole and under the watchful eye of Hospice of the Sacred Heart and the nurses of Wayne Woodland's Manor, Joe radiated a sense of calmness and serenity that he took the best this life had to offer and gave back seven fold. Well done good and faith filled servant, a man like him are few and far between. He is deeply loved by all his family and friends. To say he will be missed does not do justice to him, but to say he will be remembered well is eternal.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters: Susan Foster and her husband Rick of Winchester, VA and Janet Eisele, CRNP and her husband Dr. Kurt Eisele of Honesdale; six grandchildren: Jason, Jaime, Matthew, Gretchen, Nicole and Lauren; and 17 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Marjori Rae, who died at birth, as well as a brother, Kenneth Ballard.
A private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. Private cremation was held at Lake Region Crematory, Lake Ariel.
Memorials may be made to Wayne Woodlands Manor Resident Fund at 37 Woodlands Dr., Waymart, PA 18472, in Joe's memory and Leila's honor to benefit their fellow community members at Wayne Woodlands Manor.
For further information, directions or to leave a Memorial Remembrance (Candle) visit www.TeetersFuneralChapel.com.
Arrangements by Teeters' Funeral Chapel, 505 Church St., Hawley, PA 18428
Published in Wayne Independent on Aug. 19, 2014