Richard Lee Ballew, 75, of Donnellson Iowa passed away after a long battle of cancer May 18th at River Hills Village in Keokuk.
Richard was born April 4th, 1945 in Downing, Missouri to Edward and Inez (Broadwell) Ballew. He attended Keokuk High School and graduated in the Class of 1963. His first date with the love of his life, Nancy Christina Wood, was at the Montrose Watermelon Festival and they were married in Farmington at the Saint Boniface Catholic Church on November 2, 1966. Richard served 4 years in the United States Navy as Yeoman upon Destroyer USS John R. Craig (DD-885). During his service, he received the following awards: National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (3 Stars), Combat Action Ribbon and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea). Upon discharge from the Navy, he worked nights at Foote-Mineral and attended Parson College in Fairfield where he received his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration with a Minor in History and Teaching Certification. Mr Ballew was a well-respected teacher and coach for 43 years of which 38 he dedicated to Central Lee High School. He was also a recent member of the Saint Boniface Catholic Church.
Richard was quite the entrepreneur and was always wheeling and dealing. He owned a trailer court, the old Donnellson School, several rentals, and flipped houses/cars to make extra money. Mr. Ballew truly cherished his career teaching students and always looked forward to attending Prom to dance with all of them. He enjoyed karaoke, bike riding, dancing, collecting antiques and hustling a game of pool. Richard simply loved people and entertaining them but his biggest joy in life was spending his time with family.
He is survived by his wife Nancy Ballew of Donnellson. Two daughters, Jennifer (Jim) Dawson of Argyle, Iowa and Heather Ballew (Chris McCormick) of Montrose, Iowa. Four Grandchildren, Christopher (Sarah) Berg of Fallon, Nevada, Elizabeth (Jamie) Runge of Donnellson, Iowa, Chloe (Darren) Cassiday of Fairfield, Iowa and Emily Dawson of Donnellson, Iowa. Three Great Grandchildren, Dean Cassiday, Dallas Cassiday and Dawson Runge. One sister, Barbara Ballew, of Prophetstown, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A private family service will be held on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at Schmitz Funeral Home in Donnellson with Father Dennis Hoffman officiating.
Burial will be in Greenglade Cemetery, Farmington, Iowa with full military rites by the Farmington American Legion Post 231.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Central Lee Foundation for Post Prom or Saint Boniface Catholic Church.
Schmitz Funeral Home of Donnellson is assisting the family with the arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.schmitzlfuneralhomes.com .