Mildred Ballard, age 86 of Marengo, passed away Saturday, February 9, 2019, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, February 15, 2019 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Watkins with Father Craig Steimel officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Marengo. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Thursday, February 14, 2019, at Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo, with a Rosary recited at 4 p.m. A memorial fund has been established.
Mildred is survived by her children Ronald (Wendy), Marengo, LeRoy Jr. (Linda), Blairstown, Tom (Kim), Marengo, Bill (Lori), Marengo, Marie LaGrange (Ken Steelman), Amana and Linda (Galen) Moser, Amana; 17 grandchildren, Julie (Craig) Siebels, Travis (Karla) LaGrange, Troy (Karen) LaGrange, Martin (Melissa) Ballard, Sarah (Brian) Heims, Angela (Jason) Kruse, Melissa (Shane) Unkel, Adam Ballard (Rachel), Terry (Jodi) Ballard, Amy Martin, Ashley Allen, Courtney (Kyle) Upah, Nathan (Stephanie) Ballard, Scott Ballard, Jeff Ballard, Tiffany (Drew) Kinzenbaw, and Megan Moser; 39 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren; siblings Marian Benda, Alice Galvin, Roy and Roger Shramek, and Rosie Netolicky. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband LeRoy Ballard, Sr., a grandson Nicholas Ballard, a granddaughter Christine Ballard, three brothers Edward Jr, Leonard and Ray Shramek.
Mildred was born April 20, 1932, in Swisher, the daughter of Edward Sr. and Eleanor Fisher Shramek. The third child of nine, she spent her childhood on the family farm and attended rural school in Swisher. She met LeRoy Ballard, Sr. at a dance in Swisher and they were married on October 30, 1951 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Marengo. They settled in rural Marengo, raised a family and farmed side by side for nearly 62 years until LeRoy’s death in 2013.
Mildred loved working in her garden, planting flowers, cooking, canning and baking for her large family. Drawing from her Czech heritage, she also loved polka music. She lived to serve and her greatest joy came from taking care of her family. From tending to the animals in the earlier years, to making sure everyone in the fields stayed fed, she worked tirelessly to keep the farm running smoothly. She loved shopping on Sundays and going to the Kalona auctions. She was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Watkins.
The family would like to thank Courtney, Mildred’s granddaughter, for making it possible for her to remain on the family farm, making sure all of her needs were met.