Helen Virginia's Story
Helen Virginia Blankenship Ball, 87 of Athens died Friday, August 11, 2017. Born in Gary, WV on November 12, 1929 she was the daughter of the late B.H. "Monk" and Leta Cleo Covill Blankenship.
Helen was a 16 year old graduate of the 1946 Class of Princeton High School. She was also a graduate of Bluefield Business College. Her work years started as a secretary for the First Baptist Church in Princeton. She went on to serve as Office Manager for Lilly Land Co. During World War II she worked at Celanese Corporation in Narrows, VA in the Coning Section making parachutes, and served in the Civil Air Patrol as a plane spotter. Helen continued to work serving as secretary at the First United Methodist Church in Princeton. She married Homer Keaton Ball in 1956, moving to Athens where she helped in the family business, Ball's Store.
Helen became what she referred to as a reluctant politician as she supported her very political husband throughout his career. She served as State Chairperson for the American Rosie the Riveter Association honoring women who served in the war effort, walked in the Concord College Quest for Scholars, raising funds to establish the Concord College Foundation, creating scholarships. She was a very active member of the Concord United Methodist Church in Athens where she served in the Martha Pollack Circle and the United Methodist Women.
While raising her family, she also worked as manager for the Par 3 Golf Course at Pipestem State Park, before she and Homer retired in the 1990's. She always kept busy with her church work, family genealogy, crossword puzzles, playing bridge, and attending her Princeton High School Class of 46 Reunion luncheons.
In addition to her parents her husband, Homer K. Ball; daughter, Martha Jane Ball; one sister, Jean Price and three brothers, Edward, Robert and William Blankenship preceded her in death.
Survivors include one daughter, Laura Jean Ball of Washington, DC; two sons, Gregory K. Ball and companion Elizabeth Ryan and Phillip B. Ball and wife Kathy all of Athens; two grandchildren, Martha Claire Ball and Jackson Henry Ball; sisters-in-law, Elba Blankenship of Apex, NC and Betty Blankenship of Princeton, Madeline Hurt of Tazewell, VA; brother-in-law Jimmy Ball and his wife Drema Ball of Lerona, WV, with a large extended family.
Funeral services to celebrate the life of Helen will be conducted 10:00 AM Wednesday, August 16, 2017, at the Concord United Methodist Church in Athens with Rev. David Johnston officiating. Burial will follow in the Ball Family Cemetery at Speedway. Pallbearers will be Todd Hux, Bill Blankenship, Jr., Randy Blankenship, Gary VanStreain, Mason Hux and Monty Ball.
Friends may call at Seaver Funeral Home in Princeton from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Tuesday, August 15, 2017 and at the church one hour prior to services.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Homer K. Ball Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1405, Athens, WV 24712
Online condolences may be made by visiting www.seaverfuneralservice.com
Published on August 14, 2017