Douglas Hayden Ballard, Jr.

Published 12:33 pm Sunday, April 17, 2016

Douglas Hayden Ballard, Jr.

Douglas Hayden Ballard, Jr., 72, businessman and community advocate, passed away Friday, April 15. Doug was the only child of Douglas and Betty Wesley Ballard. He was born June 3, 1943.

Doug graduated from Montevallo High School, class of 1963. After graduation, Doug pursued college coursework and several career options. He then went to work alongside his parents at X-Ray Service and Sales Company and Ballard Solution Service. Doug sold, installed, serviced, and oversaw installations and service performed on medical imaging equipment.

From the time he was 20, Doug was actively involved as a volunteer with Fire, Rescue, and EMS Services. He spent over 43 years of his life assisting the citizens of his community, Shelby County, as well as a large area of Alabama, and even other states.

Doug’s devotion was demonstrated when he organized a community fire and basic rescue department in 1968 which provided service to Shelby County Alabama, Shelby County Fire and Civil Defense Rescue Unit No. 1. He also worked hard to develop Shelco, the first paramedical rescue service in Shelby County, in 1972. This was the first rural rescue service in the state of Alabama and has provided first response fire and rescue services for the community over the span of almost 40 years. Doug’s efforts were recognized in a resolution by the State of Alabama House of Representatives in November 2014.

In his business life, Doug went on to own and operate Ballard Medical Imaging which sold diagnostic medical imaging ultrasound equipment and supplies in Alabama, Mississippi, the Florida Panhandle, as well as parts of Louisiana, Tennessee, and Georgia. Until his retirement from the medical equipment field in 1994, Doug assisted in local, state, national and international medical imaging conferences and meetings all around the country; setting up booths, demonstrating equipment, and assisting in sales of equipment. Doug’s energetic and animated personality helped tremendously in dealing with multi-cultural customers.

In his personal life Doug met and fell in love with Nancy Kelly. They married on June 30, 1988 in Tuscaloosa. Doug and Nancy worked together raising cattle, horses, goats, and other farm animals. Given their enjoyment of the Gulf, Doug and Nancy spent as much leisure time as possible in Panama City, Fla., Doug’s favorite place.

In May 1997, while serving as Chief of West Shelby Fire and Rescue, Doug went into full cardiac arrest, otherwise known as sudden death syndrome. Through the efforts of Nancy and members of the rescue company he founded, Doug was miraculously brought back to life. This major event ended Doug’s participation in two of his favorite hobbies, piloting his airplane and scuba diving.

Several years after his brush with death, Doug was appointed coroner of Shelby County, Ala., by Governor Don Siegelman. He served 15 months of the former coroner of Shelby County’s term of office.  In November 2002, Doug was elected coroner of Shelby County in the general election by a margin of 83% of the popular vote. He served his four year term, but Doug decided to leave the political scene when his term ended.

Throughout his life, Doug received countless commendations, letters of endorsement, and praise from various police chiefs, the district attorney of Shelby County, State of Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences’ Chief Medical Examiner, as well as many other citizens of Shelby County and the state of Alabama. In 2002, Doug was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of dedicated service to the citizens of Shelby County and the State of Alabama. The award recognized his selfless dedication to his community by his untiring work, and by developing fire and EMS rescue services in Shelby County and around the State of Alabama.

Doug is survived by his loving wife of 27 years, Nancy Kelly Ballard; and his mother, Betty Wesley Ballard, both of Montevallo; three sons, Douglas Hayden Ballard, III, Christopher Ballard, and Andrew Ballard; two grandchildren, Marceline and Hayden Ballard; sister-in-law, Wanda Kelly (Butler Hine), of Tuscaloosa; brothers-in-law, Marty Kelly (Vonnie) of Muscle Shoals, and Ricky Kelly (April) of Conyers, Ga.; aunt, Frankie Stevens (Louis); aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his father, Douglas Hayden Ballard, Sr. on June 15, 2003.

A celebration of life will be held at Rockco Funeral Home, 3715 Highway 25 South, Montevallo, AL 35115, at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 23. An honor guard will be provided by local firefighters.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the Terry Farrell Fund of Alabama, mail to Alabama Fire College, c/o Terry Farrell Fund, 2501 Phoenix Drive, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405; or the Shelby County Humane Society.

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