Herbert "Rusty" W. Ball Jr.
September 25, 1952 – April 29, 2021
The hard-working hands of Herbert W. "Rusty" Ball, Jr. of Keene and Surry, NH, fell still with his sudden passing on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, surrounded in the love of his family, and close friends, Andy and Sherri Harden, Dunk and Mary Rudolf, and Dave Nichols.
His parents, Alice M (Elliott) and Herbert W. Ball, Sr. welcomed their son into the world on September 25, 1952 in Keene, NH.
Rusty grew up in Surry, NH and was a 1970 graduate of Monadnock Regional High School in Swanzey, NH, where he was a member of the high school football team.
He attended the NH Technical College in Manchester, NH, where he received his degree in automotive engineering.
Having a love for stock car racing, Rusty’s passion for racing open-wheeled modifieds started from the moment he was able to obtain his driver’s license. Well known in the racing circuit, he was successful in bringing home many trophies over his racing career.
For the past 47 years, Rusty was the vice president of Cheever Tire Service in Bellows Falls, VT. He found great joy in working in his shop, Rusty’s Speed Shop in Surry, NH where he built stock car engines and supplied many racing enthusiasts with fabrication of parts for their stock cars.
When not hard at work, Rusty enjoyed spending vacations with his family on Cape Cod. In addition, of course, he was an avid NASCAR fan.
He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Ann E. (Arnold) Ball of Keene, NH; his daughter, Stephanie M. Ball Wojtyna and her husband, Andrew, of Essex Junction, VT; his sister, Marilyn D. Conley and her husband David, of Interlachen, FL, and their family, Joshua, Jesse, and Jennifer; his brother, C. Bruce Ball of Winchester, NH and his family, Marcella, Melani, Karli, and Laural; and his extended family who loved Rusty with all of their hearts. He will also be greatly missed by many of his racing friends as well as the many friends he met from is work with Cheever Tire Service.
Family and friends are invited to call on Friday evening May 7, 2021 from 6:00 to 8:00pm at the Foley Funeral Home, 49 Court Street, Keene. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 11:00am in St. Margaret Mary Church, 33 Arch Street, Keene. Burial with committal prayers will be held in the Village Cemetery, Village Road, Surry, on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 11:00am. All those in attendance at the visitation, funeral mass, and committal are required to wear facemasks and to maintain the physical distancing protocols.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Ball’s memory to Spectrum Youth and Family Services, 31 Elmwood Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401; or to the NH Technical Manchester Community College Scholarship Program, 1066 Front Street, Manchester, NH 03102; or to a charity of one’s choice.
- Ann Elizabeth (Arnold) Ball, Wife
- Stephanie M. Ball Wojtyna (Andrew), Daughter
- Marilyn D. Conley (David), Sister
- C. Bruce Ball, Brother
- Alice M. (Elliott) Ball, Mother (deceased)
- Herbert Webster Ball, Sr., Father (deceased)
- Rusty is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Joshua, Jesse, Jennifer, Marcella, Melani, Karli, and Laural; as well as his many racing friends and friends he met from his work at Cheever Tire Service.
- Joshua Conley, Active Pallbearer
- Jesse Conley, Active Pallbearer
- T. Matthew Arnold, Active Pallbearer
- Tim Small, Active Pallbearer
- Danny Small, Active Pallbearer
- Aaron Rudolf, Active Pallbearer
- Brett Rudolf, Active Pallbearer
- C. Bruce Ball, Active Pallbearer
- Andy Wilder, Active Pallbearer
- Matt Wilder, Active Pallbearer
- Chris Ricci, Honorary Pallbearer
- Mike Roentch, Honorary Pallbearer
- Barry Johnson, Honorary Pallbearer
- Bob Donahue, Honorary Pallbearer
Spectrum Youth and Family Services
31 Elmwood Avenue, Burlington, Vermont 05401
NH Technical Manchester Community College
1066 Front Street, Manchester, New Hampshire 03102
- A Charity Of One's Choice
Visitation and Celebration of Life
Friday, May 7, 2021
A Mass of Christian Burial
Saturday, May 8, 2021
Burial with committal prayers .
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Herbert "Rusty" W. Ball Jr.
May 14, 2021
Rusty and I were involved in opposite ends of car racing. While Rusty grew up and raced on oval tracks, I've spent the past 35 years on road race courses and hill climbs. When I first heard about his shop about 20 years ago, I was looking for a local fabricator to put a roll cage in my MG Midget hill climb car. This was my first contact with Rusty. I really enjoyed him. He had a humble manner, but a sharp wit. We could find topics to laugh about involving our seemingly different racing venues. When I had a problem with engine preparation, Rusty was a great help. When I had an issue with suspension, he was the one who politely told me my solution would not work, and he was right. When it was time to put a fuel cell in my friends Mustang, Rusty got the parts and made sure we knew what we were doing.
I was shocked to hear of his passing. I will miss my 20 minute drives to Surry to get parts and some wisdom from one of the nicest guys in racing. So long, Rusty.
May 7, 2021
This is a photo from Stephanie's high school graduation. He was always so proud of everything she accomplished!
May 6, 2021
Rusty and I grew up together in Surry, he in the north end and me in the village. He was a year older than me. I remember visiting him at home one day after school. When we were kids, our fathers were both firemen, so a junior fire patrol was formed, basically so the two of us could be more a part of the fire department. I knew his grandparents well, I knew his parents well.
I was always a race fan, from the grandstands around New England rather than the pits, and always was very proud to follow Rusty through Speedway Scene and at the track, because we had grown up together. I remember speaking to Herb through the pit fence at Stafford and to Rusty on the track at Thompson. My nephews and niece visited the shop once with me, sat in the seat of the car, and one came home with an autographed tire. I purchased a Rusty's Speed t shirt one year as a birthday present and Surry souvenir that was handed down from one boy to another.
A couple years ago I was visiting a racing museum in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida. The volunteer attendant could tell from my voice that I was from NH or VT. When I told him NH, he asked if I knew Rusty Ball. Who would have thought? To put it mildly, I was blown away. Yes, I told him, he lives 2 miles up the road from me and we grew up together. He had lived in NY state and had shipped plenty of parts to Rusty over the years, he said.
I never had the chance to tell this to Rusty, but I would like Ann and Stephanie to know it. I am shocked and very, very saddened by the news. I trust you have many, many happy memories to help provide you comfort, and truly wish you the best in this very, very difficult time.
May 6, 2021
My memories of Rusty run deep in my soul. He was kind, generous, and quick witted . Rusty always brought humor to any conversation that came about.
Rusty truly loved his family and his friends, he will be greatly missed. I have many memories of Rusty that I will cherish forever ! Rest in peace my friend love always . Chris
May 5, 2021
Ann & Stephanie, I am so sorry to hear of Rusty’s passing. I have many memories of Rusty and Ann and when Ann and I were at Notre Dame College in Manchester. I remember Rusty drag racing on Elm Street late at night and being asked to please go to a race track.
I also remember going to a club one night and it was late and deciding to walk back to the dorm alone. As I was walking a couple of guys in a car started to follow me. Rusty and some of his friends had an apartment behind the old downtown Sears. I ran to the apartment and banged on the door. One of his friends answered the door and I asked for Rusty. I told him what was happening and asked for a ride to my dorm. He got his keys and drove me back. That was Rusty. Always helpful.
May 5, 2021
Ann and Stephanie
Rusty was a hard working man!!
Stop one of his day was Dunkin Donuts and then a stop at Dunk's before heading to Bellows Falls - for almost twenty years when I worked at Dunk's - a morning wasn't complete without racing chat with Rusty.
I have fond memories of his racing's days in #39 and #20 at Monadnock and Claremont speedways.
I hope you find comfort in all your your happy memories of such a great husband, dad, friend and modified driver.
Ron and Darlene Ayotte
May 3, 2021
René got to know Rusty when he sponsored him in RCIA. René remembers Rusty as a quiet, gentle, and religious man.
Our deepest condolences to Ann, Stephanie, and family.
Joanne & René Marchand
Shirley jerry bly
May 3, 2021
Rusty will be missed we so enjoyed our days of racing with him, he was a great friend. So sorry Ann and Stephanie.
May 3, 2021
Charlie and I were so sorry to hear about Rusty's passing. He was a great guy. Sincere sympathy to you Ann, Stephanie, and all of the family!
Charlie and Julie Weld
May 3, 2021
I was so sorry to hear about Rusty. It brought back many memories of good times and many years at the races. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Stephanie.
Patti and Dennis Kelleher
May 1, 2021
Ann and Stephanie,
Dennis and I are sending prayers of comfort to you at this difficult time. Cherish all the wonderful memories because they are the treasures of the heart. May the choirs of Angels come to greet Rusty.