Barbara L. Ballard Bell

Barbara L. Ballard Bell, 87, of Lawrence, KS, passed away on Saturday, January 11, 2020, surrounded by her family.

She was born in Vesta, NE on April 11, 1932, daughter of George Lyman Ballard and Naomi Nell Wilcox Ballard. They preceded her in death.

She attended school in Burr, NE, graduating in 1949. She then attended Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE. She studied Education and obtained her teaching license. She went on to teach in Burr, NE and other communities in Nebraska and Kansas.

She was united in marriage to Warren J. Bell on June 7, 1953 in Douglas, NE. He precedes her in death. Barbara and Warren were the loving parents of four children.

Following several moves within the state of Nebraska for Warren’s school administrative positions, the couple finally made their home in Lawrence, KS.

She taught school for several years before becoming the Director of the United Child Development Center in Lawrence, KS. During her tenure there, she touched the lives of many children and mentored many young teachers. She retired in 1992.

Barbara is survived by one son, Gregg W. Bell, Julesburg, CO; three daughters, Susan R. Rich (Mark), Tucson, AZ; Julie A. Bruington, Olathe, KS, and Lisa Bell-Perico (Doug), Lawrence, KS; eight grandchildren, Kyle Bell (Jensyn), Erin Bell, Jeremy Bruington, Jessica Cartrite (Skyler), Cambria Mayes (Alexander), Shabrie Perico, Damon Perico, and Avery Mulally; and three great-grandchildren, Kassidee Bruington, Quincy Mayes and Zoey Bell; one sister, Carolyn Flessner, Burr, NE; two brothers, G. Wesly Ballard (Anne), Lincoln, NE and Barry Ballard (Susan), Laramie, WY; and one sister-in-law, Julie Fuchs, Belden, NE.

In addition to her parents and her husband, Barbara is preceded in death by one brother-in-law, Merlin Flessner; and one son-in-law, Jeffrey Bruington.

Cremation has taken place. Her celebration of life will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at Burr United Methodist Church, in Burr, NE. She will be inurned in the Wilcox Family Cemetery in Burr, NE.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a philanthropy that was very important to Barbara. (National MS Society, P.O. Box 4527, New York, NY, 10163.)

7 Condolences

  1. Larry Northrop on January 14, 2020 at 8:12 am

    When a mother brings a child into a daycare, it’s the scariest moment of both of their lives. Barbara knew that and her UCDC was ready every time that happened. So many of us in Lawrence can trace our past to her. She was as gracious when I was 3 years old as she was at age 87. Her daughters and granddaughters are a strong reflection of her with character that makes those around them accountable to being the very best version of themselves. I was fortunate half a decade later to sit and talk with her about our circle of life and will remember her forever.

  2. Shirley Phillips on January 14, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Barbara was a caring person in dealing with her staff, the children she worked with, her neighbors and her family. I consider myself fortunate to have lived near her for many years and to have worked with her. I am thinking of you, Greg, Susan, Lisa and Julie. I will indeed send a memorial contribution to the MS Society, but that is not enough to fully express my grief in her death. I will always remember her.

  3. Diane (Cook) Stoddard on January 15, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Greg, Susan, Lisa and Julie- so sorry to hear this news. Your mother was a great person and I’ll remember with fondness her kind smile and wonderful laugh. The children and staff at UCDC were forever impacted by her leadership and commitment to the great mission of the UCDC! Hugs to you all.

  4. Kelly and Dianne Gonser on January 15, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    Lisa, Doug and family,
    We extend our deepest sympathy to all of you. Keep your dear mothers memories close to your heart, she will be with you always. When someone you love becomes a memory, your memories become priceless.
    Sending our love, Kelly, Dianne and family.

  5. Tom & Edythe Walsh on January 17, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    To all members of the Bell family Edythe and I wish to extend our deepest condolences. Barb and Warren became our dear friends after Tom joined the Kansas Department of Education. We enjoyed sharing dinners, going to shows and concerts, and their long friendship. After Tom took a position at Kearney State College in Kearney, Nebraska they usually stopped by for lunch as they traveled west to Julesburg, CO. They were such wonderful people who had a wide variety of interests and deeply cared about and loved their children. We will always cherish our friendship with them.

  6. Dorothy Cook on January 17, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Greg, Julie, Susan and Lisa:
    Writing this note of condolence has been very difficult for me. I hardly knew where to begin. How do I choose the right words to define my feelings over the loss of Barbara – my friend of over 60 years?
    We lived in the same neighborhood when our children were very young. Barbara and I made a good team. We served as Den Mothers for our two sons. Then, she introduced me to Preschool Education and we were team teachers at U.C.D.C. for sometime.
    We enjoyed many dinners, outings, canoe trips, etc. with a circle of mutual friends. Those were good times!
    Thanks to Barbara for the lifetime of good memories!

  7. Carolyn Madaus on January 21, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. She and I were both Golden Rose members of the Lawrence Delta Zeta Alumnae group and enjoyed activities throughout many years of being friends. She was such a caring, sweet friend and I will keep many memories in my hear forever.

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