Obituaries » Alvin Jackson “Jack” Ballard, Jr

Alvin Jackson “Jack” Ballard, Jr

April 14, 1949 - December 3, 2021

Alvin Jackson “Jack” Ballard, Jr. was born on April 14, 1939, to loving parents, Alvin Jackson Ballard, Sr. and Edna Lee Craft Ballard. He grew up in Covington, Virginia on Pocahontas Street.

Jack was a hard worker and an explorer from a young age, helping his family while hunting and fishing on his own. He used the first wages that he ever earned to buy an electric frying pan and a Bible for his mother. He attended Sunday School and Church at McAllister Memorial Presbyterian by himself as a child.

In elementary school, his 5th grade teacher read aloud to him; when he became a teacher, he read aloud to his students. When he was a principal, he had teachers read aloud to their classes. When he became director of elementary education, he instructed principals to have their teachers read aloud to children. He read extensively throughout his life which formed the basis of his knowledge of the world.

He graduated in 1957 from Covington High School and after working for Kroger Stores in Covington, he moved to Lynchburg where his sister and brother-in-law were settled. He worked full time and went to school full time at Lynchburg College, graduating in 1961 with a degree in business.

After service in the Army, he returned home to care for his father who was dying of colon cancer. After his father’s death, he supported his mother for the next 41 years until her death. He met and married Janet Meredith Carey who was his devoted wife and partner in raising children, gardening, supporting family members, caring for animals, and traveling around the world. He launched a career in teaching at Mountain View Elementary School, and continued as a Principal at Leesville Road Elementary, developing relationships with friends and colleagues whom he valued through the years. He obtained his master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia. As Director of Elementary Education and Coordinator of the Gifted and Talented program in Campbell County, he worked with colleague Rhody Meredith and a group of educators to develop the Odyssey program for the gifted and talented. This program operated in Campbell County for decades. He collaborated with dedicated teachers to develop a model program for elementary guidance; educators from around the state requested copies of this novel program.

Jack loved to learn. With his family, he went to aquariums, concerts, famous gardens, historic sites, museums, and zoos. He loved working with flowers. For decades he cultivated vegetable gardens and he shared the harvest with friends and neighbors. He hunted extensively in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He fished in the ocean, the Chesapeake Bay, so many farm ponds, and seven rivers. He loved to travel. The last major trip of his life was to Machu Picchu in Peru.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Janet Carey Ballard, his son, Alvin J. Ballard, III, and his daughter, April L. Ballard, all of whom love and respect him more than he ever knew. They will remember his intelligence, sacrifice, depth, mischievousness, and devotion.

Services will be held Monday, December 13,, 2021, at 3PM at Tharp Funeral Home in Madison Heights, VA. Please observe COVID protocols.

The family suggests donations be made to the Salvation Army.

Tharp Funeral Home, Madison Heights is assisting the family.


They will remember his intelligence, sacrifice, depth, mischievousness, and devotion. Services will be held Monday, December 13th at 3PM at Tharp Funeral Home in Madison Heights, VA. Please observe COVID protocols.

Condolences & Tributes

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He was very kind and generous to me in my 37 years of knowing him. He was always easy to make me smile, and it was an honor and a pleasure to have known him.

Posted by Chris Martin on December 13, 2021

Janet, April, and Al, Words cannot adequately express my sorrow for you on the passing of Mr. Ballard. He was my supervisor, mentor, and friend in Campbell County Public Schools. I was fortunate to learn from him both professionally and personally. I still quote him to educators and family. “If you are pleasing everyone, you aren’t doing your job. Teachers teach children, not subjects.” Mr. Ballard would listen to an account of a situation, analyze it, and ask, “Have you considered such and such?” A brilliant mind on many topics, he was an asset to educators, an avid outdoorsman hunting with Harold Drumheller, but most significantly Mr. Ballard was a man who devoted his life to his family. His love for Janet, April, Al, and his mother was deep and evident throughout the time I knew him. With deepest sympathy, Janet West

Posted by Janet R. West on December 11, 2021

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