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Jean Lorena Ballard

Jean Lorena Ballard


Jean Lorena Ballard, 90, passed away Sunday, July 28, 2013, at Rose Haven Assisted Living in Menahga, Minn.

She was born Nov. 5, 1922, in Cedar Springs, Miss., to Harold and Cora (Miller) Ballard. She was led to the Lord by her grandfather at age 10 and dedicated her life to Christ at Camp Michawna when she was a senior in high school. She went on to attend Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Ill., received her degree and then returned to her home church in Michigan to work and take care of her mother. After receiving a call from Oak Hills Fellowship in Bemidji, Minn., she came to the North Country in 1950. Her church fully supported her by sending her $83.33 a month. She started many Bible studies, pioneer girls clubs, taught release time in the country schools, started a camping ministry and mentored the women in the surrounding Park Rapids area. She took a class on Indian Studies at Bemidji State College and began working in the Red Lake Nation. She graduated from Oak Hills College with a counseling degree and later went on to teach classes at Oak Hills until her retirement, after 50 years of service, in January 2000. She was an active member of Faithbridge Church in Park Rapids.

She thoroughly enjoyed all of God’s creation, being outdoors and was physically active all her life. At age 85, she donated a kidney to a family friend. She enjoyed traveling in the United States and in several international countries. She was privileged to have had many friends and was a friend to many, both young and older. She loved the Lord and found her joy in serving Him in whatever capacity was presented to her.

She is survived by three nieces and a sister-in-law, Deborah (Robert) Lewis of Cedar Springs, Miss., Terry (Ron) Karatkiewicz, Jeanne Durnell and Eleanor Ballard, all of Grand Rapids, Mich.; and by many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Garth and Bobby (Lucille) Ballard; and friend and co-worker, Wanda Lensegrav.

A memorial service celebrating Jean’s life will be held at Faithbridge Church in Park Rapids, Minn., on Friday, Aug. 2, at 2 p.m. Pastor Marty Giese and Paul Straubel will officiate. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the memorial service at 1 p.m. at the church. Memorials may be made to Mokahum Training Center in Cass Lake, Minn.