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John Tilden "Jack" Ballantine

1931 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
John Tilden "Jack" Ballantine Obituary
John Tilden "Jack" Ballantine

Louisville - John Tilden "Jack" Ballantine died in the presence of his family on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. He was born in Louisville on February 26, 1931, to Thomas A. and Marie Pfeiffer Ballantine. Jack followed in his parents' footsteps living a life focused on family, profession, and community. Interwoven throughout all he did in life were his innate kindness and great sense of humor.

Jack attended Louisville Male High School (class of 1948), followed by the University of Kentucky, where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. In 1952 he received his Bachelor's degree with High Distinction, and was awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion as that year's outstanding male graduate. Jack remained a devoted Kentucky Wildcat fan throughout his life.

Jack was a member of the University of Kentucky Reserve Officers' Training Corps. After graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He served two years, primarily in St. Charles, Louisiana, but with time in Colorado and Morocco as well. In 1954, he entered reserve status, receiving an honorable discharge in 1966 as an Air Force Captain.

Jack graduated from Harvard Law School in 1957, after which he clerked for the Honorable Judge Henry Brooks of the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. For sixty years thereafter, Jack practiced law, beginning under the guidance of Squire R. Ogden and Percy Brown, Jr., and retiring from the successor to their firm, now known as Stoll Keenon Ogden.

Over the course of six decades of practice, there were few aspects of law that Jack did not touch, but he was perhaps best known for his medical malpractice defense. He loved putting together a logical argument, and enjoyed being in the courtroom. In later years, he served as the General Counsel of Stoll Keenon Ogden, and he often served as a mediator, work that he enjoyed immensely. Jack believed strongly that being an excellent lawyer did not require giving up civility and common courtesy, a lesson he tried to impart to all those around him.

In his profession, Jack received a number of awards and accolades. Among his notable accomplishments, he was a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2003, he received the Kentucky Bar Association Lawyer of the Year award. Upon receiving this award, he was recognized as "a lawyer's lawyer." In 2006, he was the recipient of the inaugural Louisville Bar Association Judge Benjamin Shobe Civility & Professionalism award, an award he cherished. In 2012, he received the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Sixth Circuit, presented to him during the Sixth Circuit's judicial conference, and further recognized during the American Inns of Court annual Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States.

Jack gave his time to many organizations, in- and outside his profession, serving on numerous boards and in leadership positions for the organizations, including: the Louisville Bar Association (President, 1970); Kentucky Bar Association Board of Governors (1996 to 2002); Legal Aid Society; Kentucky Derby Festival Committee (Vice President, 1975, and honorary lifetime board member); Family & Children's Agency (now Family & Children's Place); Lewis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court; Our Lady of Peace Hospital; Metro United Way; City of Louisville Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission; Historic Homes Foundation; and Farmington Historic Home Board of Directors. He was also a dedicated resident of the Cherokee Triangle for over thirty years, engaging in many efforts to maintain the integrity of its historic nature.

In addition to his dedication to the law and the community, Jack loved to travel. From world-wide adventures with Beverley to annual trips with the family, many humorous tales from their travels are part of the family lore. Also for fun, he collected coins and matchbooks, went fishing, and played softball with the Heffalumps. Jack and Beverley continued the family tradition of warm and welcoming hospitality, especially on New Year's Eve and for Opening Day at the Track for the Churchill Downs Spring Meet, serving Jack's legendary mint juleps.

His parents and his brothers, the Honorable Thomas A. Ballantine, Jr. (Nancy Armstrong) and William C. Ballantine (Glenda Hughes), preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Beverley Jo Hackley Ballantine; sons John Tilden (Jay) Ballantine, Jr. of Boulder, Colorado; William Clayton (Clay) Ballantine, MD (Jenny) of Asheville, North Carolina; Douglas Cain Ballantine (Mariam) of Louisville; daughter Susan Marie Ballantine Molony (Tom) of Greensboro, North Carolina; and Karen Jo Weilacher of Pearce, Arizona. He is survived also by his five grandchildren, all of whom adoringly called him "GrandJack:" Andrew, Aurelia, Will, Mary Shea, and Michael.

Survivors also include his much loved nieces and nephews, as well as a great many cousins and others across the country.

The family acknowledges and thanks those who cared for Jack in his last months, including Ernest Shields, Dr. Jane Cornett, and the staff of Episcopal Church Home.

Visitation will take place on Friday, April 12 from 3:00-7:00 pm at Pearson's Funeral Home, 149 Breckenridge Lane in Louisville.

The funeral service will be held at 10:30 am, Saturday, April 13 at St. Frances of Rome, 2119 Payne Street, with interment to follow at Cave Hill Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Family & Children's Place, 525 Zane Street, Louisville, KY 40203 (502-855-6155 for questions about donations) or to the Legal Aid Society, 416 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., Louisville, KY 40202 (
Published in The Courier-Journal from Apr. 11 to Apr. 12, 2019
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