~ Ballinger, Howard – Teacher – 2009

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Howard L. Ballinger

h-ballingerMARION: Howard L. Ballinger, age 76, of Marion, died peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday morning, July 28, 2009, at the Kingston Residence in Marion.

On February 1, 1933, Howard was born in Marion, Ohio, one of eight children of the late Forest and Wildia (Cassel) Ballinger. He graduated from Marion Harding High School in the Class of 1951.

Shortly after his graduation, Howard was drafted into the U.S. Army, a veteran of the Korean Conflict. Some of his duties while being stationed in Korea was dismantling mines and trying to move back the firing lines to try to conclude the war following the signing of the peace treaty.

Upon his honorable discharge, Howard was motivated to further his education and attended Manchester College in Indiana, where he would earn his bachelor’s of science degree in Physical Science. During his time there, he met his wife to be Eldonna Porter, and soon after his graduation they married on July 12, 1959, in South Bend, Indiana. Throughout his life, Howard would continue his pursuit of education by earning a master’s of science degree in Education and by using his summer’s to stay current with the latest teaching methods for Chemistry.

Soon after his marriage to Eldonna, Howard returned to his hometown of Marion, where he would dedicate his life to the schools and students of the Marion community. A chemistry teacher, Howard taught at Marion Harding High Schools for over thirty two years and at Pleasant High School for over four years. In June of 2000, he suffered a brain stem stroke and officially retired in June of 2001. Throughout those years, he was also very actively involved in numerous school activities relating to science, especially the Science Fair.

Being a teacher was a lifelong passion for Howard, and he found his calling in the classroom with high school students. For all of his students, he would take as much time as was needed for them to learn the subject matter. He was very proud of his students, and their many successes with the help of his tutelage has become his legacy.

In 1977, Howard took a six year sabbatical from teaching to help his family manage their business, Ballinger Paint and Glass.

A man of deep faith, Howard was an active member of the Epworth United Methodist Church, where he served on numerous committees and was the head usher for many years.

With a heart of gold, Howard was always willing to lend a hand to neighbor or friend in need. He also enjoyed gardening.

Having a great sense of humor, Howard was able to make light of even the most difficult circumstances. He was able to be strong in the face of adversity, and he felt he was able to do so “because he accepted it” and then made the most of whatever his opportunities were.

Howard will be dearly missed by his wife, Eldonna Ballinger of Marion, and they recently shared their golden anniversary together; two children, Ellen (James) Hough of Pittsburgh, PA; and their children, Robert and Kevin Hough; and Todd (Katie) Ballinger of Philadelphia, PA; and their children, Abby and Claire Ballinger; two brothers, Donald Ballinger of Portland, Oregon, and Larry (Cynthia) Ballinger of Marion; a sister, Peggy (Rev. Bill) Kidwell of Greenville, Ohio; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents; Howard was preceded in death by three brothers, Thomas, Ray and Junior Ballinger; and one sister, Betty Reidenbaugh.
The Ballinger family will greet friends from 4 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, at the Denzer-Farison-Hottinger & Snyder Funeral Home, 360 E. Center St., Marion. A memorial service celebrating his life will be held on Friday at 11:00 a.m. at Epworth United Methodist Church, 249 E. Center St., Marion. Inurn- ment with military honors provided by the Marion County United Veterans Council will follow in Marion Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the National Stroke Association, 9707 East Easter Lane, Centennial, CO 80112.


A note from Robert Andrews:

I had Mr Ballinger as a substitute teacher for several days. I found out he was a classmate of my father’s. What is more, they both ran in the same “gang” called The Dukes. The Dukes had a secret signal. Two short honks, two short honks and then five short honks. It was during a test that things were quiet, and I tapped ** ** ***** and he looked up. After a few minutes, I did it again. He took a look at his roster, and said “Mr. Andrews, I’d like to see you after class.” He was a great guy, and as it says above, he DID have a great sense of humor about the incident.

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