James Stanley Balloun

May 10, 1938February 25, 2023
Obituary of James Stanley Balloun
Jim Balloun, 84, died unexpectedly February 25, 2023. Born in Sibley, Iowa, on May 10, 1938, he was the son of Stanley and Edna Balloun. After his early years in Iowa, Jim lived on a farm in Alaska from age 5 through 10, then returned to Ames, Iowa, where he attended Ames High School. He was proud of his sport, baseball, where he completed his senior year with a 0.95 ERA, one no-hitter, two one-hitters, and a .350 batting average. After high school he attended lowa State University where he was Student Body President. Following graduation, Jim moved to Guam where he served three years in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps, completing his tour as liaison with Anderson Air Force Base. He learned about Harvard Business School from his officer mentor, applied, and upon completion of his tour in Guam, attended. Jim thought Harvard was a wonderful experience and he thrived there, graduating as a Baker Scholar in the top five percent of his class. Afterward he joined McKinsey & Company, then a little-known professional consulting firm, and believed it offered him the right combination of pragmatic action and inquiry with the freedom to engage in projects of public service. He joined McKinsey in San Francisco, moved with the firm to Tokyo in 1975, and then settled in Atlanta in 1979 to join what was at the time a small office. Jim found in Atlanta the perfect environment, with the “altitude and attitude” Mayor Ivan Allen spoke of, and a congenial community of engagement in church, youth sports, education and culture in which he believed his family would thrive. Once Atlanta became home, Jim quickly became active in the community, serving as chairman of the Commerce Club and the Woodruff Arts Center, and on the boards of Wachovia, National Service Industries (NSI), Radiant Systems, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Research Alliance, Rotary, The Westminster Schools, and Trinity Presbyterian Church, among other boards. He was particularly proud of helping to design and create the Georgia Research Alliance, restructuring NSI to focus on lighting and controls, and helping to create a thriving McKinsey practice in the Southeast. Along the way he made good friends who helped him to feel welcome in Atlanta. His greatest joy was his family. He was delighted to meet Julie Williams Lanier and marry her in 2006. His beloved wife of 17 years, Julie brought Jim great joy and affection, adventure, a lively, engaging mind, and a sense of humor to their marriage. Jim was very proud of all his children and grandchildren and took great joy and pride in spending time with them and following their activities and accomplishments. Later in life Jim became very involved with the research taking place at both Iowa State’s Nanovaccine Institute as well as the Stanley L. Balloun Turkey Teaching and Research Facility, which is dedicated to his father. Beyond these endeavors, Jim loved reading, deep conversations, classical music, and golf, especially the rounds he played with friends at Peachtree. Jim Balloun loved America, loved Atlanta, loved his family and friends, and loved life, a life that he believed had been good to him beyond all expectation. He tried to live by the counsel of his parents to "Get up and do something!" (his father) and to "Be a good boy." (his mother). His family will be forever grateful to him for having followed this counsel so well. Jim is survived by wife Julie, son Mark (Lisa) Balloun, daughter Jill (Bo) Webb of Wilmington, NC, as well as Julie's two children Edie (John) Wright of San Antonio, TX, and Whit (Carrie) Lanier, and grandchildren Jimmy and Jack Balloun, Mack and Raney Webb, Jack, Whit and Syd Wright, Sylvie, Edythe, and Van Lanier, Jim’s brother Joe (Lois) Balloun, nephew Andrew and niece Logan, and predeceased by his ex-wife Carollee DeRuyter Vernon. A funeral service celebrating Jim’s life will be held on Friday, March 3, 2023, at 2:30 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3003 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30327, followed by a reception in the church’s fellowship hall. If you would like to do something in Jim’s memory, please consider a donation to the Iowa State University Foundation in support of the work of the Vlasta Klima Balloun Chair position at the Nanovaccine Institute, 2505 University Blvd., Ames, Iowa 50010 or via

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Friday, March 03, 2023

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