James (Jim) Albert Ball

October 18, 1924August 28, 2013

James (Jim) Albert Ball, 88, of Magnolia Glen Retirement Community, Raleigh, NC, formerly of Morganton, NC, died peacefully August 28, 2013. Jim bravely struggled with declining health.

The son of Grace Seely Ball and James A. Ball, he was born on October 18, 1924 in Malden, MA. His father died of pneumonia 3 months before his birth and his twin brother died at 15 months. Grace married George Morin in 1927 and he was the only father Jim ever knew.

Jim graduated from Norwalk, CT high school and joined the Maritime Service, serving on the Army Hospital Ship Chateau Thierry in the Atlantic and Pacific where he met and married Helen May Harrison of Morganton, NC. After a period of inactive Navy Reserve, Jim returned to active duty in 1951 during the Korean War with the Navy Sea Transportation Service making over 137 trips to Europe and the Mediterranean. Jim loved the sea.

After leaving sea service, Jim settled in Morganton in the late 1950’s, working at Drexel Furniture and later as manager for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

In the 1980’s and until retirement in 1997, Jim worked for J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center and Western Piedmont Community College as a developmental technician/resident instructor with Autistic and Down Syndrome residents.

Jim was an active member of Morganton First Church of God until he moved to Raleigh in 2008 to be near his daughter, Karen. He was faithful in his service to God in attendance to Sunday services while at Magnolia Glen. He made many friends and enjoyed the companionship and love of Jean Heafner.

Jim was preceded in death by his second wife of 40+ years, Fran Mills Ball in 2007 and former wife, Helen Harrison Ball Dyer in 2001.

Jim is survived by his daughter, Karen Ball James (Jack) of Cary, NC; stepson, Brad Drake Ball of Morganton, NC; grandchildren, Meredith Cruise (Shane) of Raleigh, NC, Josh Brown (Lindsey) of Charlotte, NC, and Christopher Ball (son of Brad) of Merritt Island, FL.

The family wishes to thank the kind and caring staff at Magnolia Glen and the wonderful care and support provided by Hospice of Wake County.

A funeral service will be held at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 200 S.E. Maynard Road, Cary on Monday, September 2, 2013 at 6:00 PM with the family receiving friends after the service. Entombment will be at Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum Chapel in Morganton on Tuesday, September 3 at 1:00 PM.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607 or First United Methodist Church of Cary for the ZOE ministry, 117 S. Academy Street, Cary, NC 27511.


  • Funeral Service Monday, September 2, 2013
  • Entombment Service with Military Honors Tuesday, September 3, 2013

James (Jim) Albert Ball

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September 23, 2014

What lovely words to remember what a handsome, caring, sweet man Daddy-Jim was. Even after a year, you are missing him I know, but know you are
glad he is with Jesus and better now.
Your neighbor friend, Janet

Nyoka Pope

September 9, 2013

Jim was one of my dearest friends. We worked together for several years and stayed in contact after he retired. He called me his "Morganton Daughter" I consider that a great honor. He and Fran were very special people. I know that they are rejoicing in Heaven. My sincere condolences to the family. I feel like I know you all. He spoke of you often. I will miss this sweet sweet man.

September 3, 2013

What a beautiful Service, I am so glad we were able to share in the celebration of Daddy Jim's life. Kenneth and Jorja Henson

Frances & Matt Riley

September 1, 2013

Karen and Jack,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time. May God bless you with peaceful hearts. We know that your Dad is in a better place.

With love and deepest sympathy,
Frances & Matt

September 1, 2013

Karen & Family, You have my deepest sympathy. I will remember your Dad always. He was a caring, sweet man and I enjoyed knowing him here at Magnolia Glen. You are in my thoughts & prayers. Nora Liberatore

Jackie Cain

September 1, 2013

It was a blessing to have Jim & Fran Ball as our neighbors in Morganton, NC. Such a sweet spirit and loving gift we were given by knowing him! Our thoughts are with you during your time of loss. Stacey, Jackie & Will Cain

John Williams

September 1, 2013

Karen and Jack,
My prayers are with you during this time of sadness. There are no words that can help but I love you both.
Johnny B.

Sandy Umstead

September 1, 2013

Just back from "the sea" myself to hear the sad news. I love the photo and his life story. I see a glimmer of Karen's kindness and Josh's sense of humor in those twinkling eyes. May God grant you peace and strength in this season of grief.

Tonya Hensley

August 31, 2013

Karen, Josh & Meredith - Our thoughts and love are with you during this difficult time. May you find strength in those that love and surround you. - Tonya, Matt & Ryan

August 30, 2013

Both Malorie and me have been glad to be able to share some of the family ties with Jim and we were glad to meet him when he came to Massachusetts a few years ago. I has only been a few years that Karen has been in our lives but I am so glad we had a chance to share good times and events with each other. Our prayers and thought s are with you at this time. Malorie and Bill Ball