Obituary for Jerri Hayward Ball
Jerri Hayward Ball, 87, of Franklinton, died on December 20, 2017 at his home. Born in Franklin County to the late George Hayward and Ruby Pearce Ball, Jerri graduated from Edward Best High School and then briefly served in the Air Force. He married his high school sweetheart Carolyn Jones in 1949, and his in-laws took him into the family proudly and lovingly. He had three daughters who were a source of great joy and pride to him.
Jerri worked for Burlington Industries for 33 years, most of which he was Planning Manager. During some of the last years there, he also expanded his lifelong love for racing and building engines. He started Ball Speed Shop in his backyard, where young men were known to gather to learn car repair skills and hear his stories of racing. After retiring from Burlington, he grew his business into the successful Ball Auto Parts, which for 30 years served car owners, back-yard mechanics, drag racers, and local businesses alike. In the family and the community, at the business, and on the drag strip, he was known for his hard work, determination, innate mechanical ability, competitive spirit, consideration and helpfulness for others, and love and care for animals. He was known to generously grant some of his customers the old time “credit line” and help them and others he encountered in any way he could. He was well-known and highly regarded, and people across the area continue to remind us of their fond memories of him.
Jerri could fix anything automotive and build a racing engine that could beat most others. Holding many National Drag Racing records, he was one of the inaugural inductees into the East Coast Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Together Jerri and Carolyn taught their daughters to love and rescue animals. Jerri brought home many stray kittens and puppies and granted them a special place in the home and in the hearts of the family.
Jerri had difficulty retiring and giving up the business he loved, and in honor of the contributions he and the business had made to Franklinton, the day was marked by the Town as “Jerri Ball Day.” We are sure he spent many of the hours in these last years dreaming of still serving customers and fixing engines.
The family is grateful to his daily caregivers during this time, Wendy Pettiford, Tammie Burton, and Preston Daniels, for the tender care, patience, and love they have shown to him and to Carolyn, allowing Jerri to live in his home until his death. We are also grateful to Sharon Fleming, Newell Pender, Corey Pender, and Albert Weaver for their kindnesses and special assistance.
Left to carry on his legacy are his wife of 68 years, Carolyn Jones Ball of the home, his daughters, Cynthia Ball and her husband Dave Aspnes, and Amy Ball and her partner Chris Barrett, all of Raleigh. His much-loved firstborn daughter, the late Carol Annette Ball Hiscoe, left him and the rest of the family much too soon after a short illness in 2016. Also missing him will be his two grandsons: Jeremy Ball and wife Lee and their daughters Elizabeth and Charlotte of Franklin MA; and Nathaniel Hiscoe of Raleigh. Grieving also will be his brothers-in-law Jimmie Kent Jones and wife Jimmie and son Kent, and Hester Jones and his family, and former son-in-law David Hiscoe. In recent years, his only sibling Julia Ball Elam predeceased him.
Jerri loved his cats and dogs, and your memorial donations to SAFE Haven for Cats (8431-137 Garvey Drive, Raleigh, NC 27616), in lieu of flowers, would be appreciated. And in recognition of the special help they provided him and Carolyn, who lost everything to a fire right before their wedding, your donations to the American Red Cross – Triangle Area Chapter (100 N. Peartree Lane, Raleigh, NC 27610) would also mean a lot to Carolyn.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, December 23, 2017 from 1:00-2:15pm at Lancaster Funeral’s Franklinton Chapel, where funeral services will be held at 2:30 pm with Rev. David Averette officiating. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery in Franklinton.