John Grayson Ballard, was born May 15, 1949 to the late John Marshall and Marjorie Colville Ballard. He attended Erwin School through 6th grade and graduated from Dunn High School in 1967. After graduation, he married his high school sweetheart, Joyce. In 1971, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Campbell College. He began his professional career conducting population genetics research at N.C. State University. This is when he became an avid Wolfpack fan.
His desire in life was to find "an opportunity unlimited" where he could utilize his problem solving skills while exploring his art of craftiness. His career then transitioned into chemical sales when he began working for Klenzade Chemical Company. This fostered his expertise in the use of chemicals in a production environment.
During the mid-1970s his passion for crafts led him and Joyce to begin their own business, "JoJo Crafts". His sales and chemical experience presented him with the once in a lifetime opportunity to join DuBois Chemicals. Over the course of this 25-year journey with DuBois, he received numerous awards and recognition for his outstanding accomplishments in sales, leadership and chemical management.
In 1997, his analytical drive and curiosity led him to seek out each functioning component for the most sensitive fishing rod. Through research and hours- long discussions with anglers who shared his love for the sport, he founded J.B. Custom Rods. While building on his past experiences, he realized this was his life's ministry and blessing. Through this ministry he's had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and develop a special friendship and bond with many anglers from across the country.
John was a family man who loved his family above all. He and Joyce were married for 51 years. They have 2 daughters, 2 sons-in-law and 4 grandchildren. Those that knew "Poppy" before and after his "grandbabies", were amazed at the instant change in him. He loved them tremendously and each knew they were the center of his world. During their younger years, he enjoyed being their dress up/hair model (wearing all hair bows and rollers at once). As their interests grew toward electronics and social media, he enjoyed watching and laughing at their silliness, such as doing TikTok dances. Through their daily visits, he got enormous pleasure from watching them enjoy life and growing up to be more like siblings than cousins. He left this world exactly as he wished, from the arms of his loving soulmate, directly into the arms of His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce Turnage Ballard, daughters, Nicole B. Fischer and husband Mike of Dunn, Paula B. Jones and husband Joe of Dunn, grandchildren, Cara and Allie Fischer, Katie and Grayson Jones, brother, Gary Ballard and wife Ellen, five sisters- in-law, their husbands and a multitude of nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, John and Marjorie Ballard.
A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at Devotional Gardens of Dunn beginning at 11:00 am. and officiated by Rev. Riley Puckett and Rev. Ed Ivey. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Services have been entrusted to West and Dunn Funeral Home of Erwin, NC
Condolences can be made to www.westanddunn.com
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