Jean Lorena Ballard


Jean Lorena Ballard, age 90, went Home to be with her Lord on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at Rose Haven Assisted Living in Menahga, MN.

She was born November 5, 1922 in Cedar Springs, MI to Harold and Cora (Miller) Ballard. She was led to the Lord by her grandfather at the age of 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, IL, 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, MN, 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 Native American studies at Bemidji State College and began working in the Red Lake Nation and fell in love with the people there. She started a youth ministry and held many summer youth camps at Red Lake and Cass Lake, and also formed many friendships with the adults and elders there. She continued to take classes and 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. After retiring she continued to visit her friends on the Red Lake Nation every month and served on the board of the Mokahum Bible Institute at Cass Lake.

She thoroughly enjoyed all of God’s creation, being outdoors and was physically active all of her life. At age 85, she donated a kidney to a family friend, being the oldest in the world to do so. She enjoyed travelling in the U.S. and in several international countries. She was privileged to have had many friends and was a friend to many, both young and old. 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, MI; Terry (Ron) Karatkiewicz, Jeanne Durnell and Eleanor Ballard all of Grand Rapids, MI, and by many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers; Garth and Bobby (Lucille) Ballard and friend and co-worker, Wanda Lensegrav.

A celebration of life/memorial service will be held at the Family and Children’s Services building in Red Lake (near the water tower) at 1pm on Saturday, August 17, with a potluck to follow. Bring a dish and memories of Jean to share!


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