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Neal K. Ballard

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Neal K. Ballard, 80, died Nov. 9, 2009. Neal was born April 8, 1929 and raised in the Lockhart area and moved to Austin in 1949. He retired from the Texas Highway Department after 39 years of dedicated service.

Neal is survived by Lurline, his beloved wife of 61 years; two daughters, Kayline Cabe and Karen Thormahlen; and son-in-law Roger Thormahlen. Neal was “Opa” t

o Mika Carroll, Krista Bartsch and husband, William, Dr. Ross Thormahlen and wife, Celinda, Capt. Kurt Thormahlen, USMC, and wife, Rosmond, and Lana Thompson and husband Steve, (Capt., USMC); and great-grandchildren: Layne, Cabe, Matthew and Harper. He also leaves to treasure his memory a brother, Donnell Ballard and wife, Mary Frances, and a sister, Eloise Adams.

Neal, also known as “Bear,” excelled in sports in high school, and earned a football scholarship to The Institute (Rice University) where he played in the 1947 Orange Bowl. During their life together, Neal and Lurline traveled and camped with friends and family in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and Europe and enjoyed several cruises. “Opa” loved to see his grandchildren participate in school activities and never missed their games or events.

Neal was an active high school and college sports official for football, basketball and baseball and umpired countless softball games for over 30 years. Neal was a passionate deer hunter and had hunted on the same ranch in Wimberley for 50 years. He spent his last weekend doing what he most loved, deer hunting, laughing and talking with the hunters in camp. Neal was an Elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, C. A. and Hallie Ballard; mother-in-law, Hertha Kalisky; and son-in-law Poe Cabe.

A visitation was held at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 N. Lamar in Austin on Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 6 – 8 p.m. Funeral services were held on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009, at 1 p.m. at the Cook-Walden Funeral Home. Interment followed in the Lockhart Municipal Cemetery at 3:30 p.m.

Honored to serve as pallbearers were: Roger Thormahlen, Ross Thormahlen, Kurt Thormahlen, William Bartsch, Layne Bartsch, Lee Schuelke, David Braune and Herman Borchers. Honorary Pallbearers are Neal”s hunting companions, camping friends, and Friday night supper group.

Arrangements under the direction of Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas 78752. (512) 454-5611.

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