Roy William Ballard

December 4, 1919 - July 4, 2010

Roy, known to his family and friends as "Jake," was born on Dec. 4, 1919 in Rawlins, Wyo. The son of DeWitt and Ada Ballard, Roy attended schools all over the United States and in the Panama Canal Zone. He graduated from high school in Sparrows Point, Md., in 1936. He attended the University of Wyoming until receiving an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

After graduating in 1942, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Signal Corps, and served in the South Pacific during World War II. In 1947 he transferred to the United States Air Force. He attended the Army Command and General Staff College, the Naval Post Graduate School, and the Air War College. He obtained his M.S. (EE) from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from California Lutheran University. His Air Force assignments included tours at Los Alamos Laboratory, N.M., Sandia Base, N.M., Killeen Base, Texas, Barksdale AFB, La., and West Point, N.Y., where he enjoyed a teaching appointment as Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering. He was then assigned to Headquarters USAFE in Germany, and later to the Lincoln Laboratory (Hanscom Field) in Massachusetts where he was Director, Electronic Systems Division.

After retiring from the Air Force with the rank of colonel in 1962, Roy joined Litton Industries and moved the family to Thousand Oaks. He served in various capacities at several Litton divisions, including Data Systems and Data Command Systems. He spent two years with Litton Saudi Arabia implementing an air defense system for that country. He retired in 1987.

In Thousand Oaks Roy became actively involved in many civic and church activities. He served on the boards of the Valley Oaks Union School District, the Thousand Oaks High School Scholarship Federation, Thousand Oaks Rotary Club, Thousand Oaks Library Foundation, Conejo Valley Historical Society, and the Conejo Valley YMCA. He taught international business as an adjunct professor at California Lutheran University. He was a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

Undoubtedly Roy's greatest accomplishment was in the shining example he set for his children as a tender and faithful husband and father. He urged his children to take advantage of every opportunity that was presented to them and encouraged them to strive to reach their full potential.

Roy is survived by Lucy, his loving and devoted wife for more than 60 years, and by their six children: Nancy Webster, Thomas (Sarah), Richard (Patricia), Marci, Melissa Nickles (Douglas), and Stephen. He was the proud grandfather of 21 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He was previously married to Beatrice McKenney who died in 1948.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, July 31 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

Published in Ventura County Star from July 23 to July 26, 2010