Norma Laverne Dressler Ballard, 97, beloved wife of the late Reuben Heyward Ballard, passed away on Wednesday, December 28, 2022.
Born in Lebo, KS, she was a daughter of the late Herman Albert “Bert” and Cora Whaley Dressler.
Norma graduated from Lebo High School in 1942 and went on to attend Dodge City Community College where she earned an associate degree in secretarial studies. After graduating college, she was hired by International Harvester as a typist where she worked for them full time from 1944 until 1946. In the winter of 1944, she met Heyward at the Air Base in Dodge City. It was truly love at first sight. After Heyward was discharged from the Army Air Corps in September of 1945, he came back to South Carolina, but made several trips to Kansas to see Norma that fall. They were married on February 10, 1946, in Dodge City, Kansas. In 1946, the couple moved to Greenville, South Carolina and lived with family until they could find an apartment. Norma then began working as a secretary to a stockbroker in the summer of 1946. After working there several months, she was hired in the office at the Veteran’s School on Pendleton Street where she worked until October 1948. Norma and Heyward completed construction of their home at 104 Welcome Street in Greenville in 1950.
Norma was an expert seamstress and loved cross stitching and quilting. She was very interested in Bible research and genealogy of both the Ballard and Dressler family histories. She was an excellent cook and baker, cooking for many large groups and family gatherings. Being from Kansas, she didn’t see the beach until she was an adult and loved spending time walking on the beach collecting seashells. She was a lifelong member of Welcome Baptist Church where she was very active in the choir and the Golden Zest group.
She is survived by sister, Carmen Dressler Ward; daughter, Sue Hilton (Bill); sons, Steve Ballard (Linda), Dan Ballard, and Wes Ballard (Annetta); grandchildren, Billy Hilton (Amanda), Garry Hilton, Julianna Ballard, Sam Ballard (Colleen), Jake Ballard (Amber), Cayce Fletcher (Josh), and Kelly Williamson (Patrick); great-grandchildren, McKinley and Hadley Hilton, Zoey and Karrigan Ballard, Logan and Nathan Foster, Stryker Mathena, Marianna and Hayes Williamson, Jonah and Mary Belle Fletcher, and Melody Grace, Cainan and Emberlee Ballard.
In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by son, Robert Ballard; daughter-in-law, Melody Ballard; and brothers, Gordon, Dennis, and Nolan Dressler.
A visitation will be held on Friday, January 06, 2023, from 12:00 p.m. until 1:15 p.m. at Thomas McAfee Funeral Homes, Northwest followed by the funeral service at 1:30 p.m. Burial will be held in Woodlawn Memorial Park.
Family and friends who are unable to attend the service can view the Live Stream by clicking on the “Watch Livestream” button located on the main obituary page.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Welcome Baptist Church – Carolina High School Outreach, 2730 Anderson Rd, Greenville, SC 29611.
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