Rachel Helena (Collins) Ballard, 98, of Pearisburg passed into everlasting life on December 15, 2018 at the home of her youngest son, Richard, in High Point, NC. Born January 25, 1920 in Pembroke, VA, she was the daughter of the late Omar Maxwell Collins and Lama Virginia (Hilton)Collins, and step-daughter of Hessie Jane (Harris) Collins, and wife of the late Robert E. Ballard. She graduated from Pembroke High School in the Class of 1938 and later attended a beautician school in Norfolk, VA. She was a member of both the Pembroke and Pearisburg Christian Churches and served faithfully in many functions, including singing in the choir. Her favorite hymn as a young girl was: “Love Lifted Me,” but she loved all of the old traditional hymns. For a number of years, particularly during WWII, she worked as a beautician at the Victory Beauty Shoppe in Pembroke and later set up her own in-home beauty shop.
She met the late Robert Eugene Ballard in 1941 in front of the movie theater in Pearisburg and it “was love at first sight.” They were married by a Justice of the Peace in her husband’s beloved Monroe County, WV, on January 21, 1942. After the war, she and Bob resided in Pembroke before moving to Pearisburg in 1955,into a beautiful rock house on Route 100 that Bob built. There, they raised their four sons and hosted many family reunions. She was a very gentle and kind lady, loved by all; and she enjoyed most serving God and her family. She could also be very strong, especially when it came to disciplining her boys and any other children in her reach when they were misbehaving.
She was preceded in death by her husband Bob, parents, stepmother, half-sister, Nancy Jane (Collins) Cumbee, and infant son Charles Maxwell. Surviving are four sons: Robert E. Ballard, Jr. and wife Mary K. of Chester, NJ; Michael A. Ballard and wife Anna M. of Christiansburg; G. Stephen Ballard and wife Debra Griggs of Norfolk, and Richard D. Ballard and wife Diane D. of High Point, NC.; six grandchildren: Lori A. Furrow (Joseph) of Christiansburg, Emily Ballard Sayre (Robert) of Lexington, MA, Benjamin J. Ballard (Elizabeth) of Arlington, MA, Philip C. Ballard of Austin, TX, Sarah Ballard Bradshaw (Michael) of Townsend, DE, and Rhett C. Ballard (Danielle) of Phoenix, AZ; and nine great-grandchildren: Sarah and Camden Furrow, Henry and William Sayre, John and Eleanor Ballard, Blaze Ballard, Rachel and Charlotte Bradshaw.
Funeral services will be conducted on December 22, 2018 in the Kendall Funeral Home at 605 Snidow Street, Pembroke, VA with Eddie Kendall officiating. The family will receive family & friends at 10:00 AM and the service will begin at 11:00PM. She will be buried next to her husband at Birchlawn Burial Park in Pearisburg. The family will receive family at their home, 900 Pulaski/Giles Turnpike., Pearisburg, VA 24134 after the burial. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the First Christian Church, 208 Fort Branch Rd, Pearisburg, VA 24134. The Kendall Funeral Home, Pembroke, is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences may be sent by visiting kendallfuneralhome.com.