Barbara Stevens Ball passed peacefully at the age of 96, on Thursday, November 24th, 2022, Thanksgiving Day, in Williamsburg, Virginia, after an exceptional life.
Born in London, England, Barbara came to America by ship in 1940. She was one of the many children evacuated during the air raids on London, leaving her parents and country at the age of 14. As a budding teenager, Barbara spent the war years in Rochester, New York, with foster families. After the war, she chose to stay in America and moved to Florida, where she met her husband of 72 years, Donald L. Ball. It was also here that she started her first writing job for the Bradenton Herald, followed by numerous writing roles, including one as a staff writer at the Virginia Gazette.
In 1960, Barbara moved to Williamsburg, where she served for 25 years as Communications Director at the College of William and Mary. Over her tenure, she became friends with the designer Perry Ellis, wrote about Bob Gate’s time as a bus driver, and accompanied Julia Child and Pat Nixon on visits to the campus. She was a familiar face around the College to students and faculty alike. One of her favorite activities was accompanying the William & Mary choir on their trips to Europe.
Over her life, she held many interests; she was a knitter, a painter, a swim team mom, a choir mom, a Girl Scout mom, and a volunteer for just about everything, including the PTA.
Barbara supported numerous local causes, such as the Occasion for the Arts, Heritage Humane Society, CDR, and Best Friends. She loved animals. Her house was never without dogs, always rescues, and a cat or two. She had her dogs trained to be therapy dogs and took them to schools and hospitals for the comfort of children and adults.
Barbara is survived by her four children: Helen Ball Williams, Ann Ball, Allison B.Watson, and Markley Ball Rizzi, Six grandchildren, Lucy Hall, Claire Williams, Lillian Miller Starnes, Erin Miller, Tucker and Isabella Rizzi. Three great-grandchildren: Atticus and Bruce Hall, and Grace Starnes.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heritage Humane Society, 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.