Mr. W. D. “Don” Ballard, 92, of Oxford passed away Tuesday, July 2, 2019. He was born in Decatur on March 15, 1927 to Robert Herschel “Bob T.” and Eva Dorminy Ballard who have preceded him in death. Mr. Ballard grew up on Rivers Hill between Oxford and Covington. He was a member of the North Covington United Methodist Church for over 80 years until the church was dissolved. He attended Palmer Stone Elementary School and graduated from Covington High School in 1944. Mr. Ballard went to college at North Georgia College, Emory University, and graduated with an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. In 1949 he graduated as a L.L.B. Law Graduate from the University of Georgia, that same year he passed the Georgia Bar and began his career at the age of 22. Mr. Ballard served in the United States Navy during World War II, from 1944 to 1946 in the Pacific area aboard the L.S.T. 1076. He was trained as an underwater demolitionist (Amphibs) and was between the Island of Hawaii and Japan when the war ended.
In 1952 Mr. Ballard became a partner with Col. C.C. King. During his career, he served as the Attorney for the Cities of Oxford for 52 years, Mansfield for more than 40 years, as well as Porterdale, Newborn, Walnut Grove, and Jersey; never assessing any fees for his services. Mr. Ballard was the Attorney for the Newton County Water and Sewer Authority for 21 years and was very instrumental in establishing the water authority both through legislation and creatively. He served as the Mayor of Oxford for only two years. Mr. Ballard stated he had accomplished his goals for the City of Oxford, so it was time to “Get Out.” He was a State Representative serving from 1957 to 1970. During this time, he was Chairman of the Highway Committee, sponsored legislation to begin the Head Start Program, and assisted in determining the state’s position on desegregation of the University of Georgia. Mr. Ballard served as State Senator from 1970 to 1982 and was Chairman of the Secondary Education Committee, Chairman of the Industry, Labor, and Tourism Committee, and named Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Mental Health Association in 1979. He represented the counties of Newton, Walton, Rockdale, Morgan, Jasper, Putnam, and Barrow throughout his legislative career. His life of service was not limited to his career, he also was a member of the Oxford Lions Club, the Jaycee’s, the Rotary Club of Covington, the American Legion, the V.F.W., the Covington Elks Lodge, Georgia Farm Bureau, the Alcovy Bar Association, and the Georgia Bar Association.
Mr. Ballard is survived by his wife, the love of his life for 70 years, Mary Ballard, and their children Rebecca “Becky” Mask, William D. “Donny” Ballard, Jan Ballard, Kathy Krallman, Tommy Ballard, and Susan Ballard. He is also survived by his 8 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren and a host of other family and close friends. Along with his parents, Mr. Ballard was preceded in death by his siblings Annelle Ballard Foster, Mary Frank Ballard Faye, Rebecca Ballard Hunter, and Robert Ballard.
Funeral services for Mr. Ballard will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 6 at Allen Memorial United Methodist Church with the Rev. Natalie Faulkner, the Rev. Dan Dixon, the Rev. Joshua Roberts and the Rev. Tom Johnson officiating. Interment will follow at Oxford Historical Cemetery. The family will receive friends at J.C. Harwell and Son Funeral Home from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 5. Flowers are accepted or donations to your favorite charity in honor of Mr. Ballard are appreciated.
J.C. Harwell and Son Funeral Home, 2157 East St., SE, Covington, GA 30014 is in charge of the arrangements. A guestbook may be signed online www.harwellfuneralhome.com.