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Jo Ellen Ballard, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, passed away peacefully at her home on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at the age of 76. Her life was marked by dedication to family and faith. While we deeply mourn her loss we know she is in Heaven with her Savior and her beloved husband Jim.
Born on June 22, 1947, in Brownwood, Texas, Jo Ellen was the daughter of Joseph Franklin Wood, Jr., and Margaret Evelyn Hall Wood. She cherished her upbringing in Mesquite and always had a story to tell about the drive-in movie theatre her parents managed, times with her favorite aunt and cousins or crazy things her little brother did.
On March 9, 1973, she embarked on a beautiful journey of love and partnership, marrying James "Jim" Michael Ballard at the First Baptist Church in Dallas. Their bond was unbreakable sustained through Jim's service in the United States Navy, which led them to live in various places and then their transition to full time ministry when they made their home in the Edgewood Community in 1990. No matter where they lived throughout their entire marriage, their goal was to be missionaries to that area.
Jo Ellen was an exceptional homemaker, and her warmth and care extended not only to her family but to all she encountered. She and Jim served faithfully in ministry at First Baptist Church in Edgewood, leaving a lasting impact on those they touched. Jo Ellen's dedication to missions was further demonstrated through her involvement with E-3 Partners Ministries with whom she travelled the world leading mission trips and Awana in North Texas where she served as an Awana missionary. Jo Ellen’s passion for Awana earned her the nickname of “Awana Woman” by many of the children she worked with. She wanted nothing more than to reach as many children as possible with the love of Christ.
Jo Ellen Ballard touched the lives of many with her kindness and unwavering faith. She will be remembered for her enduring love, selflessness, and the countless lives she impacted throughout her lifetime. She is survived by her three children: sons, Brent Ballard, and his wife Christine of Greenville, TX, and Blake Ballard of Canton, TX, and daughter, Jenny Weems, and her husband Gem of Wills Point, TX. Her love extended to her brother, Rick Wood, and his wife Jo Ann of Oklahoma, sisters-in-law Susan Ballard and husband Howard of Canton, Tx, Sharon Dillard of El Paso, Janet Tarno and husband Paul of Gun Barrel, TX and brother-in law Gary Ballard and wife Earline if Nevada, Tx along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Of the many titles Jo Ellen carried in her lifetime, being a Mimi was her favorite. She always said the only thing she loved more than her children was her grandchildren and the only thing she loved more than her grandchildren was her great-grandchildren. She was so proud of each and every one of them. Her legacy also continues through them: Kaitlyn Remmers, Christopher Wheelus, Ryan Ballard, Rachel Ballard, and Leora Ballard, as well as her great-grandchildren: Alizabeth Remmers, Arielle Richardson, and Cade Ballard. Her nurturing spirit and enduring love will live on in their hearts. They will miss her greatly along with her homemade pizza and spaghetti.
A visitation to celebrate Jo Ellen's life will be held from 6:00-8:00 PM on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at Hiett's LyBrand Funeral Home in Wills Point. The funeral service will take place at 11:00 AM on Monday, November 6, 2023, at the same location. A burial service is scheduled for 10:00 AM on November 7, 2023, at DFW National Cemetery in Dallas.
Honorary Pallbearers: Brent Ballard, Blake Ballard, Gem Weems, Christopher Wheelus, Ryan Ballard, Rick Wood, Shane Burley