Delbert Allen Ballard
Delbert Allen Ballard, 81, of Gothenburg, Nebraska, died Friday July 2nd, 2010 at Hilltop Estates, Gothenburg, Nebraska. Delbert was born May 3, 1929, to Ernest and Nellie Ballard in a sod house seven miles southwest of Maywood, Nebraska.
He was the second of three children. Delbert shared his days of growing up with his older sister, Nadine, and younger brother, Earl. He grew up on the farm where he was born, until the family moved to Farnam in 1941 and later moved to Eustis.
Delbert’s first job was working in the hay fields as a thirteen year old boy for $3.00 a day. He attended school in Maywood, Farnam and Eustis. After attending school Delbert joined the Navy in 1947. He served on the U.S.S. Fletcher as a cook during the Korean Conflict. After his service to his country he continued to keep in contact with those he served with.
After returning to Nebraska from his service he met June Benson and they were united in marriage on May 25th, 1952. This union was blessed with two daughters, Deborah and Janet. The family moved to California in 1955 and returned to Gothenburg in 1959. Upon returning to Gothenburg, Delbert worked with his father-in-law, Walter Benson at the B & B Body Shop. Delbert, June and their girls spent many weekends camping with friend and family.
In 1974 Delbert and June lost their oldest daughter in a car accident in Lincoln, Nebraska while she was attending the University. Two years later June lost her battle with cancer. Both are buried at Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Nebraska.
In 1983 Delbert married Marge Ross of Cozad, Nebraska. The following year they opened a daycare in Gothenburg. Delbert loved telling life stories and mentoring the little boys and girls of the daycare as they sat on his knee at the kitchen table. He had a worn-out spot on his left jeans knee were they would sit to hear his stories.
Delbert passed along advice to parents, as well as to the children about life lessons, the tools needed to triumph in this world, patience, that disciple is not a bad word, to love and work hard, believe in your family and to always keep a positive attitude. He wanted people to pass this on to their children and grandchildren.
Delbert walked with a cane the last four years of his life and the children of the daycare loved that cane. He would use it to balance himself when he stood up. The children would try to use it to walk with like he did. When children would be fussy or crying, the cane was almost magical. He would give it to them to hold and they would stop fussing or crying. This went on daily and was not just a once-in-a-while event.
Delbert was preceded in death by his first wife June, daughter Deborah, his parents, brother Earl and sister Nadine.
Survivors include his wife Marge, daughter Janet (Tom) Boyd of Overton, step-son Kent (Sandy) Ross of Cozad, step-daughter Kathy (Scott) Maline of Kearney, eight grandchildren, Shawn (Kendra) Boyd of Gothenburg, Heidi (Dan) Wigley of New Zealand, Amber (Joey) Cochran of Kearney, Rhonni (Brandon) Wolf of Lexington, Brandon Ross of Kearney, Brooke Maline of Lincoln, Bret Maline of Los Angeles and Jaysie Ross of Kearney. Great-grandchildren include Hannah and Alexis Boyd, Carter and Mackenzie Cochran and Hadlie Wolf.
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