Gerald "Jetter" Ballard

July 23, 1921February 14, 2019

On Thursday, February 14, Heaven welcomed an avid fisherman, Gerald R. “Jetter” Ballard. Jetter was born on July 23, 1921, in Scranton, Iowa to Frank Lee and Erma (Thomas) Ballard. He was a lifelong Ankeny resident and a graduate of Ankeny High School. He married Marie Howard on April, 4, 1942. Gerald was a WWII Veteran, serving in the Coast Guard and then retiring from the Naval Reserve. Upon returning from active duty, he entered into business with his father and brothers, and remained in that business until his retirement.

Jetter was recognized as an active member of the Ankeny Community by the Kiwanis International for his outstanding contribution to agriculture and community affairs, by The Boy Scouts of America with the Silver Beaver Award, by the American Legion as Legionnaire of the year and was inducted into the Ankeny Alumni Association Hall of Honor, along with two of his brothers. He was a member of Ankeny United Church of Christ and the American Legion Post #42. In his spare time he enjoyed his summers fishing at Lake Washburn and playing cards, and providing friends and family with homemade cinnamon rolls and black walnuts.

Gerald was preceded in death by his sons, Tom and Jon Ballard, parents, Frank and Erma Ballard, brothers and sisters-in-law, Duane (Stoney) and Betty Ballard, Carole Ballard, Orville (Bub) Ballard, June and Wilbur Evans, nephews, Larry and Kirk Ballard.

He is survived by his wife, Marie, daughter, Karen (Lyle) Avey, daughter-in-law, Susan (Tom) Ballard, grandsons, Mark (Lois) Avey and Mike Avey, great-granddaughter, Kayla (Thomas) Murphy, great-great granddaughter, Maddi, brother, Cecil (Tike) Ballard, and sister-in-law, Bonnie Ballard, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Visitation will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at the Ankeny Funeral Home (1510 W. First St., Ankeny, IA) on Monday, February 18, 2019. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 am at the Ankeny United Church of Christ (602 SE Delaware Ave., Ankeny, IA) on Tuesday, February 19, 2019.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made in Jetter’s honor to the Ankeny United Church of Christ, The Boy Scouts of America Troop #88, The American Legion Post #42, or a charity of your choice.


  • Lee Ballard, Honorary
  • Lynn Ballard, Honorary
  • Kent Ballard, Honorary
  • Dennis Evans, Honorary
  • Mark Avey, Honorary
  • Mike Avey, Honorary
  • Members of Albaugh-McGovern American Legion Post #42, Honorary


  • Visitation Monday, February 18, 2019
  • Celebration of Life Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Gerald "Jetter" Ballard

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Maggie Peterson

February 18, 2019

My dad Kenny Peterson and I had another chance to spend a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with Gerald and his family this year. Gerald gave my dad one of his first jobs in the Des Moines area - and we Petersons are still greatful for that opportunity. I will miss seeing him at the Parmenter reunions. My mother was Joan Parmenter Peterson - Marie was her first cousin. Maggie Peterson.

Ron & Willa Nichols

February 18, 2019

Jetter was a very nice man. Always helpful and always polite. We enjoyed our many visits with him and Maria at Lake Washburn. Such a great baker. Mmmmm those cinnamon rolls,mouth watering. We will miss seeing him riding his John Deere around Iowa camp. God bless ! Ron, Willa & Connor Nichols

Mel McCleary

February 18, 2019

What can be said about my beloved Scoutmaster. He was the BEST! I remember watching him build his camping trailer in his garage, and was a big influence on me by making me think that I can do anything and build anything like Jetter! The camping trips were some of the best weekends I had growing up. Watching him cook with his washing machine lids over an open fire or with a dutch oven. I can still smell the feed store smells when we had our boy scout leader meetings. One of my best memories of Jetter was when he and Marie came to Charles City, Iowa when I received my silver beaver award as a scout leader. I so appreciated that he knew about it, and that he thought enough to come to share that event with me. I always thought of him as kind, thoughtful, caring, and a spiritual man requiring that we always said grace at meals as well as Sunday church services during our camp outs. He was very definitely a huge influence on my life growing up, and will always be much loved in my memory. Jetter was a .great influence on many young men thanks to his leadership with Boy Scout troop 88. Thanks for the memories, Jetter! I know you are with our LORD, and you will always be held in great regard in my heart.