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Gary J. Ballou

September 30, 1932 ~ June 6, 2018 (age 85)
Obituary Image

Gary Ballou, beloved Father, devoted husband, community leader, and loyal friend, passed away peacefully on June 6, 2018. He was born in Redfield SD on September 30, 1932 as Gary Jerome Ballou. Gary grew up in Aberdeen SD where he graduated from Central High School in 1950. Gary was a musical prodigy. At the age of 5 and with no formal training, his mother found him playing “Camp Town Races” on the upright piano with both cord progressions and melody. This prodigious gift led to a life long passion for playing and singing on the piano and opened many doors for him in his early life, even playing backup, on one unforgettable occassion to the late, great, Nat King Cole. After graduation from the University of South Dakota with a BS in Political Science he married Maurine Buchanan. After living in Washington, DC during his enlistment with the US Army, they moved to Sioux Falls, SD and had their only son, Mitchell in 1962. They relocated to Tempe, AZ in 1981 where Gary was active in the Tempe Lakes Community and worked for US West Direct. Gary's lifelong passions of family, community service, politics, piano, singing and gardening, were served by his keen wit and love of people. Gary Ballou was  a Man who lived life to the fullest with love, courage, and integrity. His delightful music, joyful presence and humor made countless friends, and left the world a better place. He will be missed. He is survived by, son Mitch, grandchildren Cheyanne, Logan and Josh as well as many nieces, nephews. Other family members now deceased, include wife Maurine Ballou, father Laverne Ballou, mother Clara Ballou, and brother Dennis Ballou. . In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in honor of Gary may be made to the Lakes Women’s Club “Project Night Night" or to the charity of your choice. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.  Richardson Funeral Home, Tempe, Arizona is compassionately serving the family.

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