Casey Ballard, Sr.

May 29, 1963 – September 20, 2022

The family of Casey Ballard Sr. of Lawrence, Kansas, is heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. Casey was vacationing with family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, celebrating his wife’s retirement, when he died suddenly after suffering a heart attack. He was 59 years young. The family is grateful for the care and compassion Casey received at Grand Strand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, where his organs were donated to help others.

The only son of the late Dovie Ballard Jr. and Mary Lena Clayton Ballard, Casey was born on May 29, 1963, in Cleveland, Ohio. He grew up in Akron, OH, where he was baptized at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church and loved fishing with his father. He played basketball under legendary coach Joe Siegferth at Central Hower High School (CHHS), where he graduated in 1981 with a 4.0 GPA.

Casey joined the United States Air Force in 1984. During Technical Training at Keesler Air Force Base, he was accepted into the Base Honor Guard, the best of the best on base. That’s also where he met the love of his life, Denise Ward (Philadelphia, PA), who was also in the USAF. They married in 1985. Casey served active duty at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, VA, where their sons, Casey Jr. and Christian, were born. After being honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant, Casey worked in the private sector in Atlanta, GA, and later in Lawrence, KS, before becoming a civil servant with the U.S. Coast Guard. He was Chief of the Planning and Process Improvement Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Pay and Personnel Center, in Topeka, KS. Working in Topeka meant he wouldn’t have to travel so much for work and could be “hands-on” in raising his sons. From coaching them in little league basketball and football to traveling with Denise to see Christian play for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Vikings, his sons were his pride and joy.

Casey was a great cook, trying his hand at everything from New Orleans-style gumbo to gourmet chocolate chip cookies. He was also a huge soccer fan, especially the premier league, and his favorite team was Liverpool FC. Casey was also a voracious reader who was looking forward to retiring next year and writing a novel about the colorful characters he met as a teenager racking balls at Ballard’s Recreation, his dad’s billiards place in Akron. His life had taken him a long way from there, but he never forgot the old-timers’ stories and words of wisdom.

Left to cherish Casey’s memory forever are his wife of 37 years, Denise Ballard; son Casey Ballard Jr. of Lawrence, KS, his wife Christina and their son Micah; son Christian Ballard of Palm Springs, California, his son Reece and daughter Vera; sisters Marva Ballard-Smoot, Lynn Ballard, and Stephanie (Arthur) Mitchell, all of Montgomery, AL; cherished aunt, Rosalee Cunningham Short of Cleveland, OH; beloved cousins, Roderick (Semecca) Kimbrough of Holland, OH, and Jennifer Short of Cleveland, OH; nieces and nephews; longtime friend and CHHS classmate Rev. Stacey Jenkins; and numerous other relatives, friends, and colleagues.

Visitation is Friday, September 30, 2022, 5-7 p.m., at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS. A memorial service will be held at the same location on Saturday, October 1, 2022, at 10 a.m.

73 Condolences

  1. Stephanie Mitchell on September 23, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    Rest well baby brother.

  2. Marisa Giannakis on September 23, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    So sorry for your loss prayers for your family

  3. Donnetta R Mathis on September 23, 2022 at 2:01 pm

    My condolences to the family, I will continue to keep you all in my prayers.

  4. Luci V Mitchell on September 23, 2022 at 2:01 pm

    You will truly be missed Uncle Casey…. Love you always 💔

  5. Amelia Foard on September 23, 2022 at 2:04 pm

    Ballard family,
    We are heartbroken for you all. We love you and send our deepest condolences.
    The Foard family

  6. Jackie Simley-Stevens on September 23, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    Mr. Casey. Amazing young man who held his composure thru life very well! His sister Lynn kept me informed of Casey’s life development for years. Always the proud dad, and being a strong man showed in his children’s growth and development. Job well done sir. R.I.H. #ALWAYSAKRON.

  7. Larry and Beth Baldridge on September 23, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    You are great neighbors! We love your family and we will miss Casey greatly!

  8. Rosalee Cunningham Short on September 23, 2022 at 3:12 pm

    I love you all so much, my heart is broken.

  9. Jackson Pavelka on September 23, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    Ballards – My heart is broken for you. I know only too well and too freshly the pain and hurt you’re feeling. Kaylee and I love you dearly and are praying for your entire family. We are here if you need us.

    Jackson and Kaylee Pavelka

  10. Sharon Kenner on September 23, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    Denise and family,
    So sorry for the unexpected passing of Casey Sr. You will be in our thoughts and prayers. God is with you and will comfort you and give you peace.

  11. Amber Sellers on September 23, 2022 at 3:53 pm

    To Denise and Ballard Family;

    Luke 23:43 tells us, “And he said to him, Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

    Sending my deepest condolences and words of comfort as you reflect and celebrate the life of Brother Casey.

    Amber Sellers
    City of Lawrence Commissioner

  12. The Allen Family on September 23, 2022 at 4:08 pm

    We can’t image your sorrow. We are all praying for your family.

  13. Lena Mitchell on September 23, 2022 at 4:24 pm

    You will be missed Uncle Casey. Rest well. Love you!

  14. Melvia Jackson on September 23, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Sending you all prayers for peace and contentment during this difficult time .
    Cousin Melvia Fountain Jackson & Family
    Hattiesburg, MS

  15. Michele Johnson on September 23, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. My son is a classmate of Casey, Jr. and I remember his Dad being very active in whatever his boys were doing. It sounds like you lost a great man, father, grandfather, husband, and friend. Positive thoughts and prayers to your family.
    Michele Johnson (Mom of Dustin Johnson, Free State class of 2005)

  16. Karen Brooks on September 23, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    Denise and family, I am so very sorry to hear this. I cannot imagine the huge void left by his loss. Please know our prayers are with you, and I hope the many wonderful memories you share will sustain you in your sorrow. Sending all our love.

  17. Karen Emmot on September 23, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    Denise and Ballard Family,

    Sending my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences! I had the pleasure to know and work with Casey his entire CG career. A humble man with a huge presence and professionalism. His absence will indeed be felt by all and always remembered with the utmost respect.

  18. Juliette Dunn on September 23, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    May God’s wisdom, strength and love surround you.
    Always loved and never forgotten.


  19. Karen and Rick Stadler on September 23, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    Denise, Casey jr. and Christian— Casey was a wonderful man, soft hearted, loved being a grand parent, and had the best laugh. I worked with him during his career with the Coast Guard. I know he was looking forward to retirement, we were the same age, but I had a lot of military time and was able to go right at age 56. I loved stopping by visiting with him, discussing the Hawkeyes and Vikings games. I loved football, and we always had lots to talk about. Then when the grand babies came along, I was always asking to see the newest picture, and he would always share. He will be greatly missed in this world, but will be the tallest guardian angel, with the deepest voice I know. My husband and I both worked with him, and we are sending you all of our prayers and thoughts during this difficult time. Thank you all for sharing him with us at the Coast Guard.

  20. Shawnte Boggs on September 23, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    The Ballards are one of those great families you’re privileged to know. May your broken hearts be healed. May you find comfort in one another.
    With sincerest condolences and love from the Hall Family. 🤍

  21. Kimberly Moore, former Coast Guard employee on September 23, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    My sincere condolences to all the family and members of the Coast Guard family. I was saddened to hear of his sudden passing and my prayers are with you all. RIP Casey and agreed, ” Job Well Done”. Fly high Sir, you earned it!

  22. John & Theresa Lundin on September 23, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    The entire Ballard family is in our thoughts and prayers His friendly conversations and positive smile will be greatly missed around the federal building. #Go Hawkeyes!!

  23. Carol Nightengale on September 23, 2022 at 10:51 pm

    I worked for the Coast Guard with Casey for many years in our Branch Chief roles. A professional in his field, always upbeat and smiling, and forever my friend. My heart is so very sad, and I want to express my deepest condolences to his entire family. May you always find comfort knowing he was loved by everyone he touched in life 💕

  24. Dawn Robinson on September 24, 2022 at 3:32 am

    My dearest sister, Stephanie, I am saddened to hear of the sudden passing of your brother! I remember him from our college days. Praying for you, your siblings, his wife and offspring.
    Much love ❤️

  25. John and Cynthia Taylor on September 24, 2022 at 9:02 am

    Our condolences to The Ballard Family! You are in our prayers.

  26. Stephanie Saulsberry on September 24, 2022 at 10:59 am

    Rest in Paradise my dear friend. I know you are not far away, as we have all have gained a guardian Angel. Gone far to soon, you will truly be missed.

  27. Melinda Heibeck on September 24, 2022 at 11:06 am

    Denise and family
    I am so very sorry for your loss. My prayer is for you to experience the comfort that God provides in increasing measure as you go through this difficult time❤️🙏🏾

  28. William Hopkins on September 24, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    My heart breaks for you all. I pray that God gives you peace.

  29. Arlee Butterfield on September 24, 2022 at 5:43 pm

    A gentle, loving and compassionate giant. He will be dearly missed. Sending big hugs to you all. Much love from the Butterfield’s.

  30. Tawana Smith on September 24, 2022 at 5:48 pm

    Denise and Family
    My heart and prayers go out to you. When myself and another coworker moved to Kansas City for work and not having any friends or relatives here, it was the Ballard’s who welcomed us into their home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Big Casey made us feel like we were apart of their family. You will be missed.

  31. Veotha Smith on September 24, 2022 at 5:56 pm


  32. Sherry Tyree on September 24, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    I am devastated by the loss of Casey. I was fortunate to work with him from day one of his arrival in Kansas. He was a wonderful person and a great man. My heart goes out to Denise, his sons and especially his grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.

  33. Tami Lee Hughes on September 24, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    I am absolutely heartbroken about Big Casey’s passing. He will always be missed and his legacy will live on through all of you. I’m praying for you and sending all of you much love.

  34. Jeanette Wallace on September 25, 2022 at 12:17 am

    Sorry to hear this, Rest Easy Casey. Prayers and condolences to the family.

  35. Barbara Lyon on September 25, 2022 at 1:54 am

    My deepest sympathy to the Ballard family. I didn’t work directly with Casey but enjoyed our talks/visits. I am so sad to hear of his passing. Casey was a wonderful, kind and pleasant person. His laugh and deep voice will be greatly missed. Prayers to all.

  36. Margie Wakefield on September 25, 2022 at 9:39 am

    Condolences to the Ballard family, our thoughts are with you. Margie Wakefield and Jon Green.

  37. Cousin Stevie and Towanda on September 25, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    Dear Denise, words cannot express our dismay and sympathy for you and your family. We are praying that God comfort and grant you peace that surpasses all understanding. Love and miss you.

  38. Jason Collins on September 25, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    Love you Big Cousin. God speed and Rest in Paradise. You are loved and will be missed tremendously.

  39. Marvin Mims, Sr. on September 25, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    To the Ballard family! Our prayers are for your family. We mourn the loss of such a great man on earth. We hope you find consolation in the word of God as found in 2 Cor 5:8 “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

    With love,
    The Mims & Bachus family

  40. Lomax and LaNitha Weaver on September 25, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    Dearest Denise, Casey Jr. Christian, Christina, and Family,
    We grieve and mourn with you.
    Our hope and prayer is that you will be supported and comforted during this difficult time.

  41. Janice Thornton (Ward) on September 25, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    Denise, I am truly sorry to hear the news of the passing of your husband, Casey. May the years of memories help to bring comfort to you and your family. I am keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you a long distance hug. Hope you can feel the squeeze.

    Sorrowfully, Cousin Janice

  42. Mercades Beckum on September 26, 2022 at 7:30 am

    Me an my family’s prayers will be with you, we Love you guys. ❤️😘

  43. Denise Christman on September 26, 2022 at 11:30 am

    My sincere condolences to the entire Ballard family for the loss of an amazing, kind man. PPC will not be the same without that deep voice and chuckle Casey had. My thoughts and prayers to you all.

  44. Bob Teetsel on September 26, 2022 at 11:30 am

    Casey was a wonderful man and co-worker whom we will all miss very much. Our condolences to Denise and all of Casey’s family from Casey’s PPC family

  45. Tonya Barnett on September 26, 2022 at 11:30 am

    May You Rest in Peace ,
    Your Cuz- Tonya

  46. Jeff Bacon on September 26, 2022 at 11:37 am

    Casey touched the lives of so many of us in the Coast Guard. His gentle spirit, friendly demeanor and technical genius made him a man everyone sought for counsel, advice and training. He left us all way too soon, and our hearts break for the Ballard family. We pray that God comforts you in this sad, sad time.

  47. Madeline Jackson on September 26, 2022 at 11:45 am

    Denise and family,
    My heart is breaking with all of you over this sudden loss. Casey took a chance on me and hired me to be on his team last year. I will forever be grateful to him for this opportunity. He doted on all of you on a regular basis and couldn’t wait for his upcoming retirement. He has been a staple here at PPC for decades and his loss will leave a huge “Casey-sized” void. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. God Bless You!


  48. Phillip Spears on September 26, 2022 at 11:52 am

    My sincere condolences to the Ballard family. Casey will surely be missed at PPC. I’m grateful to have met and worked with you.

  49. Clem Moynea Ceazer on September 26, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    A gentle giant has left us too soon, his presence in the building will regrettably be missed. Praying for your strength through our loving Father, for He hears our cry. “Peace be Still”

  50. Elizabeth Weibel on September 26, 2022 at 2:55 pm

    I am so sorry to learn about Casey. We were classmates at Central-Hower, and I cheered from the stands for many of the basketball games. May you find comfort in the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and many others who knew Casey.

    Elizabeth Eaton Weibel, class of ’81

  51. Bill Fox on September 26, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    Our heartfelt condolences to the Ballard Family in your time of loss. Casey was known to all, respected by all, a friend to all. Those of us who were fortunate to know or work with Casey are grieving with you. Peace to you now and in the days ahead.

  52. Le'Shaun Daley & Baby A.P (Philadelphia family) on September 26, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    My Deepest Condolences to you Cousin Denise, Casey, and Christian and the rest of the family. My heart and prayers go out to you All
    Pray that you all are comforted during this difficult time

  53. Gary Earling on September 26, 2022 at 9:44 pm

    I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Casey and call him a friend. I cherished our conversations as our children grew up and as we both started our cherished journey with grandchildren. The biggest thing in Casey’s life was his family. He was so proud. I will miss those conversations immensely. My thoughts are with Denise, Casey Jr and Christian.

  54. Steve Hudson on September 27, 2022 at 6:56 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with Denise and all those feeling grief at the loss of such a good man. I had the opportunity to work with Casey for over five years and was always impressed with his knowledge and experience. I knew that if I had a project I needed someone to lead or facilitate that Casey would handle it perfectly. His laugh and smile will be missed on calls and in the halls of the Pay and Personnel Center. I know that we will see him again after this life is over.

  55. Cousin Arletta on September 27, 2022 at 8:28 am

    Sending my condolences, prayers and love in your time of loss. May God’s grace comfort you🙏❣️

    With Love,

  56. Christ Church Universal on September 27, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    We love you family. We are heartbroken for you and can’t imagine the pain. Please know that we are here and will keep you in our prayers.

  57. Thomas Flyntz on September 27, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    My sincere condolences to the Ballard family at the untimely loss of such a good man. I had the good fortune to work for and with Casey and am a better person for having had that opportunity. Casey always had a smile on his face. He will be missed by many.

  58. Tammy Gagne on September 27, 2022 at 2:28 pm

    Denise I am so sorry to hear about your husband passing away. My deepest sympathies go out to you, your family, and friends.

  59. Steve Lewis on September 28, 2022 at 8:12 am

    Denise, Christian, Casey Jr, and families. Casey was not just a colleague, he was a close friend. He was a big man with a big heart and his sudden death has left a big hole in my heart that will take many years to mend. I admired him for his intelligence, his responsiveness to anyone’s needs, his ability to see the good in all people….He was great human that I aspired to be. Over the past 14 years, we have had many impromptu talks about life and we learned from each other’s perspectives. I will miss him immensely; he is in my thoughts in everything I do as I waver between laughing, crying, and just reflecting on how much I have grown as a man working with him. I can only hope that I can affect someone’s life in a positive manner the way he has changed mine. My deepest condolences go out to you all and I will be praying for your healing and peace. May God bless you all and comfort you during this challenging time ~ Steve

  60. Cynthia Sheppard on September 28, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    Denise, I am deeply saddened by the loss that you and your family have encountered. So grateful to know Big Casey as your husband, working relationship with him at USCG and having both of you participate in my family reunion—great time. It was an honor to have known such a great person. Sincere condolences.

  61. Delois Campbell on September 28, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    Marva, my prayers are that God gives you and your family the strength, comfort, and peace needed to carry on.

  62. Steve Swatsenbarg on September 28, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    It’s been a week since I heard the news. I walk by Casey’s office and no one’s there. I fight back the tears. I’ve worked with Casey since he first came to PPC. Casey, Carolyn, Candice and I were cubies at one time. The 3 C’s and me. Later on Casey and I ended up with offices next to each other. I enjoyed talking with Casey about all kinds of things, but mostly enjoyed listening to Casey talk about his family. He was a very proud husband, father, and grandfather. We were both retiring next year, me in March and Casey in July. Casey would say to me, now Steve “Please!” push off that Fluid project until after July!!! I would just laugh and tell him I didn’t think he had anything to worry about. We miss you Casey. My sincere condolences to the Ballard family. May God’s peace and comfort be with you during this very difficult time.

  63. The Colter Family on September 29, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    Our deepest condolences to the family. Sending love in prayers!

  64. Crossroads Church - Topeka, KS on September 30, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    May you find comfort and peace in the love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Expressions of our deepest sympathy.

  65. David Ballard on September 30, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    Sending my love and prayers to my family. May God Bless you and keep you.

  66. Antoinette Williamson on September 30, 2022 at 10:20 pm

    Denise and family-
    I am so sorry for your great loss. May each of you feel the Lord’s nearness and may He bring comfort to your hearts through your loved ones in this sad time. You are in my prayers.

  67. Jerry Mouton on October 1, 2022 at 4:32 am

    Denise, my deepest sympathies with prayers to you and your family. My words will never overcome the tears and pains. But the great memories will always remain.

  68. Alia Michel on October 1, 2022 at 9:08 am

    Sending prayers and love. We love you all.

  69. Debra Lett on October 1, 2022 at 9:12 am

    Soul Gone home, too soon. Ballard family I am still in shock as you must be. Big Casey was a smiling giant. I can’t imagine your feelings of loss. I pray GOD grants you all peace, rest and comfort in the many days to come. Remember the good times and smile. I love you all very much. Stay strong and love on each other. Your family is with you in love and spirit.
    So long cuz.
    DJ Lett (Deb)

  70. Charmaine Henry and family on October 1, 2022 at 2:04 pm

    My deepest condolences to the Ballard family. May our God of Comfort hold you and carry you during this difficult time.

  71. Jon Weaver on October 1, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    Please accept my heartfelt condolences. I’m sending such deep love for the Ballard family in this time.

  72. Ed and Jena Bloch on October 2, 2022 at 3:42 pm

    Dear Denise, Jena and I are so saddened to hear of Casey’s passing. Please know that you are in our prayers. Our deepest condolences.

  73. Stacey Stevens on October 3, 2022 at 7:45 am

    My heartfelt condolences to the Ballard family. You continue to be in my thoughts.

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