Mary Ballard, age 75, of Glenwood, died Tuesday, February 26, 2019 peacefully at home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Monday, March 4th at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, with Father Joe Vandeberg officiating. Visitation will be at the church, one hour prior to the service. The Christian Mothers will pray the rosary beginning at 10:00 A.M. Inurnment will take place at a later date. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Mary Esther Carlson was born in Bird Island, MN, on October 13, 1943, to Emery and Veronica (Becker) Carlson. The fifth of eight children, she grew up in Montgomery, MN, where she attended school and graduated with the Class of 1961. Following high school, Mary attended college at Mankato State University, where she received her Education degree. Her first teaching job was in Wabasso, where she taught high school English. She later also taught in Chandler and Tyler. It was while she was living and teaching in Wabasso that mutual friends introduced her to Jerome “Jerry” Ballard of Tyler, who had just returned home from serving in Vietnam. The two hit it off and after dating for a while, they were married on August 17, 1968, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, in Mary’s hometown of Montgomery. The two made their home in Tyler before moving to Wisconsin for a short time and then to Glenwood in 1971, where Jerome worked as a commercial printer.
Mary’s first job in Glenwood was as a typesetter for the Pope County Tribune. In 1984, she left the Tribune to become an insurance agent for Farm Bureau Financial Services, a position she held until her retirement in 2009. Mary was elected to the Glenwood City Council in April of 1995 served over 4 terms. She also volunteered as a Girl Scout leader and taught Catechism to confirmation students at Sacred Heart. Mary loved nature and enjoyed feeding the birds, rabbits, deer, and those “damn” squirrels in her yard.
Mary passed away peacefully on February 26, 2019. May God bless the memory of Mary Ballard.
Mary is survived by her husband of 50 years, Jerry; her sisters and brothers, Darlene (Clayton) Coughlin of New Hope, Carl (Joanne) Carlson of Falcon Heights, Bob (Becky) Carlson of Duluth, Paul (Virgie) Carlson of Minnetonka, Don (Karin) Carlson of Winter Springs, FL, Rita Carlson of Rosemount, Jon (Nancy) Carlson of Victoria; her mother-in-law, Edna Ballard of Tyler; a brother-in-law Neal (Linda) Ballard of Tyler; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Emery and Veronica Carlson.