AUBURN, WASH. — Mr. William Kenneth “Bill” Ball died early on the morning of October 13, 2012 in Auburn, Wash. at the age of 85. He was born in De Queen, Ark. to William Pfingst Ball and Lucille Jeter Ball on January 15, 1927.
Shortly after Bill’s birth, his family moved to Nashville, Ark. where he spent his early life in the typical pursuits of a boy living in that time and place - scouting, sports, and school. Bill was an Eagle Scout and played football and basketball for the Nashville Scrappers. He graduated from high school at the age of 17 and entered the University of Arkansas in June of 1944. He joined the Kappa Sigma social fraternity and played trombone for the University of Arkansas Band.
After a year of college, he entered the United States Army in May of 1945, and completed basic training at Fort Riley, Kan. He then went to Camp Crowder, Missouri to train as a radio operator. Bill later entered Signal Corps Officer Candidate School in Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in May of 1946. He served in China, headquartered in Beijing, where he was the commanding officer of a mobile radio station located in a C-47 military transport airplane that provided remote radio services to areas throughout China. He was honorably discharged from the Army in Seattle, Wash. in the spring of 1947 at the age of twenty.
He spent the summer of 1947 earning credits at Little Rock Junior College, and reentered the University of Arkansas in the fall of 1947. As an undergraduate and before his legal studies, Bill enjoyed social life and dancing, as the war was over and the mood in the country was good. He met Ella Hubbard “Hubby” Scaife of Readland, Ark. as a sophomore at the University of Arkansas, where they began dating, beginning a relationship that ended 58 years later with her death in 2005.
In 1948 he entered the University of Arkansas Law School. In 1950, in his last year of law school, he was recalled into the service of the United States Army. He and Hubby married on December 28, 1950. As a young Army couple, they lived in Augusta, Ga. and then San Luis Obispo, Calif., where their daughter Lucy Jane Ball was born. Bill was assigned to Japan during his duty in the Korean War. In 1952, he was again discharged from the Army and returned to law school, where he graduated in 1953.
He began his law career as a clerk for George Rose Smith, an associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. In June of 1954, he became an associate attorney with the law firm of Williamson & Williamson in Monticello, Ark. The firm later became Williamson, Williamson & Ball when Bill was made a partner. The firm later became Ball & Bird and continues today as The Barton Law Firm.
His legal practice was devoted to corporations, institutions, real estate, and personal estates. His clients included Georgia-Pacific, Potlatch Corporation, R. A. Pickens and Son Company, Arkansas A &M College, Union National Bank & Trust, and the Monticello School District. He served as City Attorney of Monticello for over 33 years.
Bill was a Special Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, a Member of the Arkansas State Board of Law Examiners, and past President of the Southeast Arkansas Bar Association. He was admitted to the United States Supreme Court and all federal courts; and the Arkansas Supreme Court and all state courts, where he practiced extensively.
Raised as a member of the Methodist Church, he became a member of the First Presbyterian Church when he and Hubby moved to Monticello. He served as Sunday school teacher, deacon and elder.
In addition to their daughter Lucy Jane, Bill and Hubby had two sons. William Ramsay Ball was born in 1958 and Charles Scaife Ball was born in 1960.
Bill enjoyed playing golf and watching sporting events, and was a lifelong fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks. He had a deep love of music and reading, especially enjoying classical music and history. He and Hubby had a wonderful sense of gracious hospitality, and entertained friends and family extensively. Their annual Christmas Eve celebration was enjoyed by friends and family for many years.
In 2005, his wife Hubby died. He maintained his home in Monticello. He married Connie Nicholson Deal in 2008, and they lived in Monticello until 2010 when they moved to Auburn, Wash. to Connie’s previous home.
In the Spring of 2012 his health began to decline. His mind stayed strong but his body was failing. His wife Connie provided loving care to him during his illness and his gentle passing was a blessing to all.
William Kenneth Ball is survived by his wife Connie Deal Ball of Auburn, Wash., daughter Lucy Jane Ball of Bay St. Louis, Miss.; son William Ramsay Ball and his wife Jaquita, son Charles Scaife Ball and his wife Susan, and granddaughter Sarah Jane Ball, all of Fayetteville, Ark.; and his brother James Donald Ball of Ballwin, Mo.
Memorial gifts should be made to the University of Arkansas Foundation, 535 Research Center Blvd, Fayetteville, AR 72701 or the Monticello Public Library, 107 E Jackson Avenue, Monticello, AR 71655.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 3rd at First Presbyterian Church in Monticello with visitation to follow afterwards in the church fellowship hall. Rev. Dr. Walter VanZandt Windsor officiating. Online guestbook www.stephensondearman.com.