Sallie Junkin Ballard

Published 12:01 am Thursday, April 20, 2017

June 26, 1926 – April 18, 2017

NATCHEZ — Services for Sallie Junkin Ballard, 90, of Natchez, who died Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at her beloved home “White Wings” in Natchez, will be 11 a.m. Friday at St. Mary Basilica with the Rev. David O’Connor officiating.
Burial will follow at the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.
Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until service time Friday at the church.
Mrs. Ballard was born June 26, 1926, in Natchez, the daughter of John Richard and Sophie Dix Junkin.
With the exception of her college years at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., and at her beloved Ole Miss, Mrs. Ballard lived her entire life in Natchez. She devoted her life to her children, grandchildren and to Natchez. She was active in all parts of civic life, as a charter member of the Garter Girls, member of the Pilgrimage Garden Club, the Daughters of the American Revolution, First Families of Mississippi, the Natchez City Cemetery board, the board of advisors for Deposit Guaranty Bank, the Historic Natchez Foundation and a more than 60 year alumni of Chi Omega.
Mrs. Ballard was the architect of “2000 for 2000” which funded the planting of more than 2000 crape myrtle trees throughout Natchez by the beginning of the new millennium, making Natchez arguably the “crape myrtle capital of the south.”
Mrs. Ballard was also a successful entrepreneur, having started the Cock of the Walk franchise with Weeta Colebank, Ann Eyrich and all their husbands. The franchise grew to be in more than 15 southern cities and is credited with “making catfish respectable.”
In 2009, she was presented the Historic Preservation Award by the Natchez Historical Society, and on her 90th birthday in 2016, was presented the Key to the City of Natchez by Mayor Butch Brown for a lifetime of service to her community.
As a mother and grandmother, there was hardly an event for any that she missed. Mrs. Ballard was also a surrogate mother and grandmother for literally hundreds of others throughout the years.
Mrs. Ballard was preceded in death by her husband, Basil; her parents; one sister, Sophie; her eldest child, Dix Ballard Nord; and one grandchild, Banon Dix Ballard.
Survivors include four children, Basil Glen Ballard Jr. of Beverly Hill, Calif., Wensel Ballard Conroy and husband, Michael, of Covington, La., Donna Ballard Maselli and husband, Joe, of New Orleans, and John Junkin Ballard and wife, Melinda, of Jackson, Ky.; one son-in-law, Peter Allen Nord of Gulfport; 11 grandchildren, Sophie Nord, Watson Nord, B.G. Ballard, Mac Ballard, Laura Rutledge, David Conroy, Ian Conroy, Jeremy Sanders, Matthew Sanders, Phillip Ballard and Saxon Ballard; all the extended family from the three original Junkin brothers; and Rosie Lee Williams, her right hand, her rock, her best friend.
Pallbearers will be Watson Nord, Jeremy Sanders, Matthew Sanders, Phillip Ballard, Ian Conroy, David Conroy, B.G. Ballard and Mac Ballard.
Special thanks to her caregivers over the last 18 months, Terrion Wilson, Qwana Carter, Crystal Green, Ethel Johnson, and, for the last year, her daughter-in-law, Melinda Ballard.
Memorials may be made to Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Louisiana Chapter, 2424 Edenborn Ave., No. 660, Metairie, LA.
Online condolences may be sent to

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