Robert John Ballantine, Jr.

Published 12:09 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Dec. 10, 1942-Sept. 21, 2023


Robert John Ballantine, Jr., of Niles, MI, passed away peacefully, at the age of 80, on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, with the love of his family by his side. Robert was born on Dec. 10, 1942, in Joliet, to the late Robert John and Margaret (Eglin) Ballantine, Sr.

Robert lived with his parents in Joliet and attended Kindergarten at St. Joseph Parochial School on Chicago Street in Joliet.  In 1948, the family moved to Fairmont in Lockport, IL. Robert attended and graduated from Fairmont Grade School in 1957, went on to Lockport High School graduating in 1961. Robert played baseball all four years while in high school.  Bob attended Joliet Junior College, continuing to play baseball on the JJC team. He graduated from JJC in 1963. Bob attended Illinois State and  Southern Illinois University graduating in December 1966 with a degree in Education.  Robert began his teaching and coaching career at Minooka Jr. High School. In addition, he was enjoying playing Semi Pro baseball until he was 34 years old.

On June 13, 1970, Robert married Marilyn Jean Nelson at Plattville Lutheran Church.

Robert is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Marilyn Jean (nee Nelson) of Niles, MI; three sons, R. Scot (Yvonne) of Grange, Sligo County, Ireland, Joseph K.  (Carrie) Ballantine of New Lenox, IL and Jason K. Ballantine of Niles, MI: two daughters, Melissa J. (Jeremy) Coleman of Willowbrook, IL and Kristy L. (Trey) Agner of Horn Lake, MS; three brothers, Carl “Chuck” Ballantine of Phoenix, AZ, Raymond L. Ballantine and Donald Ballantine, both of Joliet; 14 grandchildren, R. Sean, Evin T., Rory N., Ailise C. and Sadhbh M. Ballantine from Grange, Ireland, along with Kayla L., C. Ty, Kelsi L. and Cody T. Agner of Hornlake, MS, Nolan K. and Brynn A. Ballantine of New Lenox, IL ,  Noah K. Ballantine of Vero Beach, FL and Olivia Jean and Emory R. Coleman of Willowbrook, IL; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Robert was preceded in death by son, Kelso Ballantine (1972); his father (1995); and mother (2007).

In 1984, Robert became the head baseball coach at Joliet Jr. College.  He remained until the end of 1986. In 1985, Robert graduated from Governors State University receiving his Master Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision.

In 1987, Robert and his family moved from Minooka, IL to Hudson, MI to become Assistant Principal and Athletic Director. In 1991, Robert and family moved to Monticello, IN where Robert became Twin Lakes H.S. Athletic Director. In 1996, Robert and his family moved for the final time to Niles, MI.  He held the Athletic Director position until 2000 when Robert became Athletic Director and Recreational Director for Bangor High School in Michigan.  Robert retired in 2003 with 30 years of education which included classroom science. He loved coaching baseball, coaching over 40 years with player receiving athletic scholarships, including many going on to the Major Leagues.  Robert also coached basketball for nearly 20 years. He also managed and coached numerous youth summer programs. Robert’s favorite past times were fishing for smallmouth bass and researching genealogy.

Visitation for Robert John Ballantine, Jr. will be held Tuesday, Sept.26, 2023, from 11 a.m. until the time of funeral service at 1 p.m., at the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black Rd. (Essington Rds.), Joliet. Burial to follow at Plattville Lutheran Cemetery in Minooka, IL.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to the Alzheimer’s Association or to Minooka Jr. High School Baseball Program.

For more information, please call (815) 741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at where you can share a favorite memory or leave an online condolence.