Lynn Marie Ballew, of Niles

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Sept. 24, 1955 — Dec. 26, 2020

Lynn Marie Ballew, 65, of Niles, sister, aunt, crafter, walker, and lover of peanut butter and people, suffered an unexpected illness last Tuesday and died Saturday afternoon, Dec, 26, 2020, with family at her side at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana. Her family chose to enhance and extend several lives through the Indiana Donor Network.

She was born on Sept. 24, 1955, in Joliet, Illinois, the sixth of 12 children — and the “number two daughter” — of Jefferson Raymond and Elizabeth Margaret (Rose) Ballew. She was graduated from Niles High School in 1975 and continued her education at Lees Junior College in Jackson, Kentucky. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Morehead (Kentucky) State University, and returned to Niles in 1979. For several years she was employed as a secretary in medical offices and a library. She found a special calling as a housekeeper for several local families, and has served for many years as an aide to a small assisted living home.

Lynn was raised in the Catholic Church and was active in the youth program of First Presbyterian Church of Niles. She has been a member of the First Baptist Church of Niles for most of her life, and was secretary for its Missions Committee. She had participated in DeColores Ministries of Southwest Michigan and had dual citizenship, being born in the U.S. but also a citizen and elder of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.

As much as Lynn enjoyed caring for folks, she enjoyed the solitude of walking from job to job, shopping on-foot; and more recently, biking. She also enjoyed camping with friends at local state parks, and quiet time at home working on crafts which usually became gifts. She carefully protected her finances to ensure that she had the funds needed to travel with tours organized by the tribe, but more importantly to send contributions to worthy organizations.

She was preceded in death by her parents and by a brother, Chris Ballew on Oct. 8, 2012; and a special “bonus” father, Richard Herzberg on Nov. 18, 2002.

Surviving family includes her siblings, Jeff (& Jessie) Ballew, of Dowagiac, Michigan, Greg (& Renda) Ballew, of South Bend, Randy (& Sue) Ballew, of South Bend, Kathy (& Jim) Crouch, of Niles, Karen (& Skip) Hinegardner of South Bend, Gary Ballew of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Rick Ballew, of Wisconsin, Jimmy Ballew, of Dowagiac, Doug Ballew, of Oak Creek, and Laura (& David) Sharkey, of South Haven, Michigan; a sister-in-law, Stephanie (Mrs. Chris) Ballew ,of Edwardsburg, Michigan; many nieces and nephews — 41 in the first generation; and Lynn’s closest friend and companion, Sara Herzberg and Sara’s son, Eddie (& Nadia) Herzberg and their children, Jaden and Liam.

The family of Lynn Ballew will receive relatives and friends from 1 until 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, at the First Baptist Church, 1446 E. Main St. in Niles. Services for Lynn will begin at the church at 3 p.m. with Pastor Mark Youngberg of the church officiating. Attendance is limited, and masks will be required. Others may witness the events via the livestreamed broadcast on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page: Committal will be private, later at the Rush Lake Cemetery near Hartford, Michigan.

Contributions in memory of Lynn may be made to the Missions at First Baptist Church, 1446 E. Main St., Niles, Michigan, 49120,; or to Luvability Ministries, Post Office Box 46, Niles, Michigan, 49120, Online condolences may be left at:

Lynn had many close friends whose joys became her joys and whose worries became her worries. She worried a lot. But she also prayed – a lot – and trusted God to bless everyone. Combining those faithful prayers with a heart always ready to forgive, and an open jar of peanut butter, Lynn loved God, loved people, and smiled — a lot.