Athens - Milner Ball died April 6 of complications from Parkinson's Disease. He was a Presbyterian minister and emeritus Caldwell Professor of Constitutional Law.
Milner was born April 10, 1936 in Atlanta. He was the son of the late Edward D. and Lucy S. Ball. He was educated in public schools in Georgia and Tennessee, Princeton University (AB), Harvard University (MDiv) and University of Georgia (JD). Following a Fulbright Fellowship, during which time he studied with theologian Karl Barth, he served as minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Manchester, Tenn. and as Presbyterian chaplain at the University of Georgia. After serving as a delegate to the 1968 Democratic Convention, he enrolled in law school and was editor-in-chief of the Georgia Law Review, graduating first in his class. During 1971-72 he worked as Dean Rusk's representative to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. He taught from 1972-78 at Rutgers Law School and from 1978-2006 at the University of Georgia . He wrote prolifically and taught in the areas of environmental law, Native American tribal law, jurisprudence, law and theology, and constitutional law. He was the author of four books, including The Word and the Law and Called By Stories: Biblical Sagas and Their Challenge for Law, and published numerous articles in law reviews.
He and his wife, June, enjoyed his teaching assignments in foreign countries. He received a Fulbright professorship to teach in Reykjavik, Iceland and also taught in London, Brussels, Lyon, and Buenos Aires. An avid athlete, he completed--with fast times--28 marathons and many triathlons, and the couple made many backpacking trips and an eight-day dog-sledding trip in Alaska.
An advocate for justice, he was active in the Civil Rights movement and received the Martin Luther King award from the Human Rights Council in Athens. He founded and taught the Public Interest Practicum at the University of Georgia, the Environmental Law Clinic, and the Civil Clinic, and served on the boards of the Athens Justice Project and Community Connection. He was honored to receive, among other awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award in for Law in the Public Interest at UGA and the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Journal of Law and Religion.
Milner Ball is survived by his wife of 51 years, June McCoy Ball; daughters, Sarah Ball-Damberg and Virginia Ball; son, Milner Scott Ball; grandchildren, Hannah and Marika Ball-Damberg, Louise McCormack, and Nora and Milner Ball; son-in-law, Richard Ball-Damberg; and daughter-in-law, Kathryn Lawler.
Services will be held at St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church at 3 p.m. Monday, April 11. In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Milner Ball may be made to The Athens Justice Project, 269 N. Jackson Street, Athens, GA 30601; The Ann Downs Loan Repayment Assistance Fund at the University of Georgia School of Law, 225 Herty Drive, Athens, GA 30602; or St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, 3195 Barnett Shoals Rd., Athens, GA 30605.
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home East is in charge of arrangements.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by Athens Banner-Herald on Apr. 8, 2011.