William H. Ball Jr.
90, joined the Lord on Jan. 27, 2017. Bill led a full life from dating Elizabeth Taylor at age 19 to climbing Mount Ararat after the age of 50. His life began in Muncie, IN on June 4, 1926, born to William H. Ball and Agnes Medsker Ball. His grandfather, William C. Ball, was one of the five Ball brothers who started the Ball jar empire. Having enjoyed many luxuries and traveling the world, his "Shangri-La" was the Ball cottage on Lake Maxinkuckee, where early on he learned to water ski, which led to national competitions at Cypress Gardens, and later he just enjoyed entertaining family & friends for week-ends of cocktails, music, dining & lake games.
He graduated early from Culver Military Academy in 1945 to enlist in the U.S. Navy Air Corps, trained as a radio gunner on SB2C dive bombers and was disappointed not to serve in action before the end of the war. Bill entered Indiana University where he bonded with his Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers, graduated and was passionate about IU basketball & football, which continued throughout his life.
Following graduation, Bill worked as a purser for a luxury liner and returned to work for his brother-in-law, Sam Moxley, at a silver manufacturing plant in Mexico City. Later, he assisted Sam in operating the newly acquired Haag Drug Company and likewise formed and operated the Huddle Restaurants. This led to owning and operating the Embers Supper Club, a popular destination in Indianapolis where many notables entertained. Years later, he owned another successful restaurant in Chicago named Luciano's.
Bill became interested in politics and ran for the Indiana State Senate. He was a member of the Indiana Council on Foreign Relations and also of the Council for National Policy, attending annual meetings in Washington and meeting many dignitaries including several presidents. Additionally, he conversed on Mike Pence's radio show while campaigning for Pat Buchanan.
He was a member of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, American Business Club and on the Board of the Center for Scientific Creation. He supported the Indianapolis Symphony, the Colts, the Pacers, the Indy 500 and IU Varsity Club. He enjoyed playing bridge, golf, tennis, snow skiing, jazz, traveling, bible studies and a voracious reader, accumulating hundreds of books in his library.
He was predeceased by Jeanne Peck Ball, the mother of his four surviving children, Janet Starkey (Rich), Julie Ball, Chip Ball (Quay) and John Ball (Shelly). Also surviving are wife, Mary, sister Lucina Ball Moxley, nieces, Judy, Ann and their families, step-children Paul Bisesi, Nick Bisesi and Angie Stacer, former son-in law, Patrick Murphy, 11 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren and 7 step-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will take place at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church on Feb. 25th at 1:00p.m. Donations may be made in Bill's name to the church. Arrangements: Indiana Funeral Care.
Published in The Indianapolis Star on Feb. 2, 2017.