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Sarah Margaret Ballard

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Sarah Margaret Ballard Obituary
Sarah Margaret Ballard

San Angelo, TX

On 10 July 2018, we lost our beloved mother Sarah Margaret Ballard. She died peacefully at home with family by her side. Mom was born 26 April 1924 and raised in North Carolina. A defining moment in Mom's life was a summer train trip when she was 15 to West Texas with her grandmother to visit relatives where they toured far West Texas to include Alpine, Big Bend, and Marfa. Mom fell in love with West Texas and vowed to return one day. After high school graduation, Mom went off to the big city of Washington DC to attend college where she promptly met our dad, who would become her soul mate. They married in 1943 during WWII, and Dad got a job in Santa Monica CA to help the war effort. After WWII ended, Mom convinced Dad to relocate to TX. They first went to Austin for graduate work for Dad, and finally settled in San Angelo where, in 1957, they built the house that Mom still lives in.

For years, Mom "dabbled" with college as she raised us three kids. Finally, after we went off to college, Mom got her BA and MS, and began her teaching career. After she retired from teaching, she worked at H&R Block, attended North Texas State University and obtained a second MS in information science (she was their oldest graduate.) She worked as a librarian at the San Angelo Central library until she finally retired when she was 85 (or so). After her retirement, Mom continued to find great joy in reading, and went to the library every week to check out books and read the periodicals.

Mom is survived by her three children, Sarah Margaret (Meg) Weinberg of Columbia MD, Laura Jean Likover of Vallejo CA, Richard Patton Ballard Jr, her sister Ruth Gurtis (Sanford North Carolina), son-in-law Gary L Weinberg, grandsons Richard E. Miller (New York NY) and Joshua Likover (Sacramento CA), and granddaughter Lauren Ballard (Vermont), niece Mary Jo Bennett, and nephews Joseph Walter Gurtis III, James W Gurtis, and John Gurtis; and numerous grandnieces and grandnephews.

Mom was preceded in death by her husband and soul mate, Richard Patton Ballard (in 1974), her parents Mary Elizabeth and James Walter Bain Jr, and her grandparents Sarah Margaret and William A Manness. She was also preceded in death by her many beloved horses (especially Koko, Tony, Sis, Imp, and Pixie), dogs (especially Lucy, Ruby, Miss Boo, and others), and many cats she "adopted" when they showed up at her house.

Meg and Gary will always have fond memories of the fun vacations shared with Mom over the years. Numerous trips to Big Bend Natl Park, Bulgaria (for Leo and Margarita's wedding), France, Spain, Florida and New York to name a few. Plus all the wonderful folks we had the opportunity to meet in San Angelo over the years at Mom's dinner parties.

Jean fondly remembers the equine drill team of young riders that Mom organized. We practiced in our roping pen and performed at junior rodeos. She also remembers the family trail ride in Big Bend also organized by Mom, and the many weekends we competed in junior rodeos.

Richard and Joshua remember fondly their vacations with Mom that allowed her two grandsons (who lived on opposite coasts) to bond and form a friendship that remains in their adulthood.

Mom's family would like to thank the caregivers who took such wonderful care of Mom (and us) during her final illness. Diane, Norma, Dahlia, Irene, Nicole, Dolly, and others. And a special thanks to Kindred Hospice for helping Mom and us though her final journey (especially Theresa Lewis).

A Memorial Service is planned for Saturday July 14 at 2:00pm at Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

Memorials may be sent to Emmanuel Episcopal Church in tribute to Mom or (as she was an animal lover extraordinaire) to a dedicated to helping animals.
Published in GoSanAngelo on July 13, 2018
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