Ethel Marr Ball

Ethel Marr (Adair) Ball, formerly of Sparks, NV, passed away October 28, 2023 in Ammon, ID, at the age of 94. She was born January 23, 1929, in Rifle, CO, and grew up in the area around Rio Blanco and Cortez. As the oldest child, she became her dad’s right-hand man on the farm, hitching teams and running equipment by herself. She graduated from Cortez High School in 1946, and then attended BYU, graduating in Elementary Education in 1949. She taught second grade in Bingham Canyon for two years. During that time, she met Elwyn Steele Ball while visiting her parents in Paradox, CO, where they had recently moved. He happened to be visiting his mom while on leave from the Navy, and when Ethel first saw him at church, she described him as “the handsomest man I had ever seen.” They corresponded, fell in love, and were married in the Manti Temple in 1952. They lived in Sparks, where Elwyn worked on the railroad, and raised their family there. They had 4 sons, Maurice, Larry, Curtis, and Kerry, and then a daughter, Teresa. Mom was an amazing mother who raised us with lots of love and patience, and by necessity a healthy sense of humor. She had many interests, including music, reading, and antiques, but her faith and her family were her highest priorities. She tried hard to teach us to be honest and kind to others.

Mom set a quiet but powerful example of service in the family, the neighborhood, and in church. She spent countless hours teaching, caring for, and riding herd on our brother Maurice, who had some special needs and boundless energy. Our home was always open for our neighbors and friends to come over to play, and she spent a lot of time visiting and sitting with elderly and sick members of our church, besides serving in many callings. She loved working with children, and was awarded the Silver Beaver in Scouting for her many years of service in 11-year-old Scouts. She also gave free piano lessons for many years, touching many more lives. After Dad’s retirement, they served a Family History mission in Salt Lake City, and later a service mission in the Bishop’s Storehouse where she learned, among other things, how to drive a forklift.

Her last 15-20 years were difficult, caring for Dad for many years as his Alzheimer’s progressed, while her own health was slowly declining. About a year after his passing, she went to live with Larry and Laurie, in Chandler, Arizona, and spent her summers in Idaho Falls with Kerry and Lynnette. In June of 2022, while in Idaho Falls, her health declined sharply, and she was cared for in the Gables of Ammon Assisted Living Center until her passing. While it wasn’t the life she ever wanted, she made the best of it and never complained. She was a favorite among her caregivers there, who treated her with great love and care. Special thanks also to BriO Hospice for their wonderful care. Ethel is survived by siblings Elenor Rolapp, Bill Adair, and Alice Ann Halterman, her children Larry Ball (Laurie) of Chandler AZ, Curtis Ball (Kirsten) of Sandy UT, Kerry Ball (Lynnette) of Idaho Falls ID, and Teresa Humphrey (Craig) of Sparks NV, 12 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Elwyn, and their son, Maurice.

Services are under the direction of La Paloma Funeral Home in Reno, and will be held Saturday, November 18, at the El Rancho Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 2955 N. Rock Blvd in Sparks, with Bishop Brian Hicks conducting. A viewing will be held at 9:00 AM, with the funeral services beginning at 10:00 AM. Burial will follow at the Mountain View Cemetery in Reno.

The service will be streamed online here :


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