Harry Vinson Ballard, 90, of Milton Florida, went to his eternal home on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Born in Myakka City Florida, he was the son of Vinson and Lenora Ballard and was one of seven children.
Harry leaves behind his loving wife Hilda, children Ann (Kurt) Smith, Jerry Ballard, Tammy Ballard, Leonard (Valerie) Palmer, Virginia Palmer, Robert (Heidi) Palmer, Tamara (Jared) Owens and Elizabeth (Leonardo) Barragan and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In his early years Harry helped build his parents a home. He worked cattle and often reminisced about being a cowboy in south Florida. Harry was an avid hunter and loved to talk about the time he spent in the Big Cypress. He shared about running his hunting dogs through the woods while chasing deer and hogs. He also enjoyed fishing and later shared special memories of doing so with his daughter Ann.
Harry was a faithful husband for over 32 years. He was a very caring and responsible father. He worked hard to be a great provider for his family. In 1947, Harry joined the Army Corps of Engineers at age 17. He was honorably discharged at the rank of Corporal in 1955. Harry took the skills and training that he gained in the Army and made a lifelong career of serving the residents of Florida. As a Construction Engineer, he built many of the structures and bridges that still stand today in Manatee and Walton counties.
While he had an easy-going demeanor, Harry was very passionate about his hobbies and grandchildren. Two of his favorite activities were wine making and growing an expansive garden every year. He loved getting up early to water the garden and he loved sharing what he grew with everyone he met. Harry was a generous man, but he gave the most of himself to his grandchildren. When any of his grandchildren walked through the door, his face would light up with excitement. He took pride in teaching them life skills and sharing his vast knowledge with them. He taught them everything from picking greens, canning vegetables, caring for livestock, starting a fire and even how to drive a lawnmower.
Another big part of his heart was caring for his children, biological and adopted. Harry loved each one of his kids uniquely and they all have fond memories of time spent with him. He instilled in them an unstoppable work ethic and taught them how to step up and take care of others. One of his greatest joys was caring for his daughter with special needs, Tammy. Harry lovingly and diligently gave care for Tammy up to his passing. Saying good night prayers with her was a great example of his steadfast love.
A celebration of life service will be held Sunday evening, June 30, 2019, at 5:00 p.m., at Living Truth Church (8897 Byrom Campbell Road in Pace).
The Ballard and Palmer families would like to express their sincere and humble gratitude to the many people who have loved and supported our family during this journey.