Sunday, September 5, 2021

Norma Jean Ball 1931-2021

We were saddened to hear of the death yesterday of Norma Jean Ball, my Father-in-Law's first cousin. Norma was the youngest daughter of Fred Ball and Nellie Irene Whiteford.

We had not known of Norma until I came across her name and interests on a genealogy bulletin board in the late 1990s when I was researching the Ball line. I tried to contact Norma but my emails bounced back. It took us several years to find her but finally Mr GeniAus managed to make contact in 2011.

Norma's Bulletin Board Message

We first visited Norma at her home in Wingham in May 2011. We discovered that she had a keen interest in family history having done research at The Society of Australian Genealogists in the 1990s. Unfortunately, as her sight had failed her, Norma was no longer able to use a computer or email. We had a wonderful discussion about family history and our trips to Rochdale, Lancashire, in search of the Balls. Norma generously shared her research, family photos and stories with us. 

Norma Jean Ball- Army Portrait 1952

Since that first meeting we have visited Norma on several occasions at the care facility where she moved when her eyesight declined. Norma was a delightful character who was mentally as sharp as a tack when we last visited her earlier this year. We enjoyed sitting with Norma and hearing stories of  family members and of Norma's career in the Australian Army. She always showed a keen interest in my research and enthusiastically consented to take a DNA test on our last visit. 

We are pleased that we were able to get to know Norma and are most grateful for her contributions to the Ball story. We send our condolences to her nieces and nephews as they mourn the loss of a beloved aunt.

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