Funeral services for Fred A. Ballard, Jr., 88, of Leland will be at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at First Baptist Church in Leland. He passed away on Monday, April 17, 2023. Burial will be in the Leland-Stoneville Cemetery under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Leland.
Fred was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi August 26, 1934, to Fred A. Ballard, Sr., and Ruby Jackson Ballard. He graduated from Leland High School in 1953 where he was voted class president, most likely to succeed, and inducted into the Hall of Fame. Fred also lettered in three sports. He was very active with 4H and won Grand Champion in 1951. He attended Mississippi State University and returned to Leland to farm Ballard Farms/Adendale with his father.
Fred married his high school sweetheart, Sammie Leah Dickerson June 14, 1954, and they were married for 68 years. They had three children, Kim, Leah, and Bo.
Farming was Fred’s passion in life. For 68 years he raised cattle and catfish, and farmed cotton, soybeans, corn, milo, and wheat. He was recognized for his excellence in farming by being named Washington County Farmer of the Year, Conservation Farmer of the Year, Mississippi Farmer of the Year, and received the prestigious High Cotton Award.
Fred also served on many boards throughout the Delta; Leland Academy, Washington School, Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association, Farm Service Agency, Farmers Inc., Delta Council, Trustmark Bank Advisory Board, Community Counseling, BF Smith Foundation, Burdett Gin, Leland Compress, Leland Rotary Club, Delta Wildlife, Cotton Inc., Deer Creek Town and Racquet Club, and Refuge Hunting Club.
Fred dedicated 32 years to the Mississippi Levee Board, serving as president for 22 years, making him the longest-serving president in Levee Board history. Upon his retirement on July 13, 2020 he was bestowed the title President Emeritus. He fought tirelessly for the completion of the Yazoo Backwater Pumps Project.
Fred was a lifelong member of Leland First Baptist Church where he also served as a deacon.
Fred was known throughout the State of Mississippi for his competitive nature on the tennis court and golf course. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing with his many friends at Gilnockie Hunting Club, Montgomery Island, and Refuge Hunting Club.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife, his sister Faye Ballard Morlino and his infant son.
He is survived by his children, Kim Jackson (Cameron), Leah Turner, and Bo Ballard; grandchildren, Ballard Jackson Mann (Josh), Ben Turner (Neichole), and Jane Aden Burton (Hays); great-grandchildren, Jack Mann, Cammie Mann, Averie Turner, Mollie Turner and Sarah Hays Burton, his beloved dog Baby Doll and several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank caregivers, Jennifer Raggs, Dorothy Carter, Michelle Briggs, Keona Zolicoffer, Shay Webb, Revia Kimball, and Geremy Stevens, RN.
There will be a visitation from 10:00-11:00 a.m. on Wednesday before the services at the church. The family requests memorials be made to First Baptist Church, Leland, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or a charity of your choice.
Allen Clark, Ricky Clark, Billy Johnson, Joe Simcox, Owen Houston, Greg Unruh, Bennie Ray, Herbert Jones, and Keith Chunn will be pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be his best friend, hunting, fishing, golf, and tennis partner, William Nokes, Mississippi Levee Board, and Refuge Hunting Club.