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Aberdeen- Jim Ballard,74, passed away on Sunday, December 13 at the OCH Regional Medical Center in Starkville. He was born in the Egypt Community on May 4, 1946 to the late Deward and Fannie Lou West Ballard. Growing up in south Monroe County, Jim graduated from Aberdeen High School and he played on the basketball team. Jim attended Mississippi State University, earning a degree in Landscape Architecture where he also played basketball for the Bulldogs. His first job after graduating MSU was in design and landscape at the 6,500-acre Calloway Gardens in Columbus, GA, which is famous for its Azaleas and Christmas light tour. Jim was gifted with having a vision of seeing a landscape before a plant was ever put in the ground. He would later put his talents to use overseeing the beautification program on the Natchez Trace Parkway. He also served for a number of years as a planner with the Community Development Foundation in Tupelo. After his retirement he returned to Aberdeen and was elected Mayor in 2008. He owned and operated the Canal Street Garden Center in Aberdeen, later moving the nursery to West Point where it operates to this day as the Plant Farm. A proud Mississippian and an enthusiastic Bulldog sports fan, Jim faithfully followed the Dawgs in all sports. A devoted Christian, Jim was a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church in Aberdeen where he served many years as a Sunday school teacher.
Jim is survived by his nieces, Lynda Russell Woodard (Liddon), Tallahassee, Florida and Sandra Helin (Wallace), Tallahassee, Florida; nephew, Rick Ballard (Barbara) Troutsville, Virginia; great niece, Brianna Ballard, Seattle, Washington; longtime assistant and protégé, Daniel Philley of Aberdeen.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Deward Holloway Ballard and Fannie Lou West Ballard Davis; sisters, Pauline Ballard Frederick and Betty Ballard; brother, Deward H. Ballard, Jr.
Graveside services will be at 11 AM, Thursday, December 17, 2020 at the New Prospect Cemetery with Bro. James Clardy officiating. Honorary pallbearers will be Rick Ballard, Jerry Smothers, Roy Pruitt, Dr. Arthur Brown, Daniel Philley, and Dale Pierce.
Everyone is asked to meet at the cemetery at 10:50 AM. For those who wish to remain in their vehicle at the cemetery, please feel free to do so, as this will be a drive-up service. Condolences may be shared at tisdalelannmemorial.com.