Willie A. Ballard, of Vandalia

July 11, 1942 — April 20, 2020

Willie Albert Ballard Sr., 77, of Vandalia, died Monday, April 20, 2020, in his residence.

He was born July 11, 1942, in Jackson, Mississippi, the fifth of 10 children of Will Henry and Margaret Ballard.

He married Curley Beatrice Lee Oct. 17, 1964, in Three Rivers.

Willie enjoyed playing chess and shooting pool. He coached little league and was the best coach ever. He was an avid golfer.

He cherished his family and proudly spoke highly of his wife and each of his children and grandchildren, even if they were right or wrong.

Willie worked at Clark Equipment in Buchanan from 1963 to 1974, until he injured his knee.

In 1997, he suffered a massive heart attack and had quadruple bypass surgery. After that, he picked up whatever jobs he could.

Willie was a long time, trusted, valued and respected employee of Connelly (Wagner Family) Funeral Home in

Cassopolis and was always a welcome sight by the families they served.

Willie will be greatly missed by family and friends.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Curley Ballard, of Vandalia; one daughter, Nancy Ballard, of Cassopolis; sons, Willie Ballard Jr., of Elkhart, Rodney (Nicole) Ballard Sr., of Buchanan, Lynell (Lynell Brown) Ballard Sr., of Elkhart; daughter-in-law, Jennifer Ballard, of Prattville, Alabama; 10 grandchildren, Willie “Scooter” (Kevin Bailey) Ballard III, Morgan Forest, Malik Ballard, Marquise (Krissy) Hall, Rodney Ballard Jr., Jarius Ballard, Lynell “LJ” (Jade Gatson) Ballard Jr., Lindsey Johnson, LaQuisia Ballard, Janea’ Ballard; four great-grandchildren, London McNair, DJ McNair, Aria Hall, Paris Ballard, with a great granddaughter, Scarllet Ballard on the way; four sisters, Velma Danzy, of Grand Rapids, Pearl (Joseph) Hunt, of Cassopolis, Dorothy Williams, of Elkhart; one brother, Kenneth (Arlene) Williams, of Portage; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Alfred Ballard and Eddie Ballard; three sisters, Patricia Curtis, Margaret Ballard and Lois Thomas.

The family will observe a private remembrance.

The family prefers contributions in memory of Willie be made to the family c/o Wagner Family Funerals, 202 N. Broadway Street, Cassopolis, MI 49031.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, Cassopolis. Please share a memory or a message online: wagnercares.com.