Barbara Stevens Ball

November 24, 2022
Barbara Stevens Ball

Gifts & Memorial Donations

Barbara Stevens Ball passed peacefully at the age of 96, on Thursday, November 24th, 2022, Thanksgiving Day, in Williamsburg, Virginia, after an exceptional life.

Born in London, England, Barbara came to America by ship in 1940. She was one of the many children evacuated during the air raids on London, leaving her parents and country at the age of 14. As a budding teenager, Barbara spent the war years in Rochester, New York, with foster families. After the war, she chose to stay in America and moved to Florida, where she met her husband of 62 years, Donald L. Ball. It was also here that she started her first writing job for the Bradenton Herald, followed by numerous writing roles, including one as a staff writer at the Virginia Gazette.

In 1960, Barbara moved to Williamsburg, where she served for 25 years as Communications Director at the College of William and Mary. Over her tenure, she became friends with the designer Perry Ellis, wrote about Bob Gate’s time as a bus driver, and accompanied Julia Child and Pat Nixon on visits to the campus. She was a familiar face around the College to students and faculty alike. One of her favorite activities was accompanying the William & Mary choir on their trips to Europe.

Over her life, she held many interests; she was a knitter, a painter, a swim team mom, a choir mom, a Girl Scout mom, and a volunteer for just about everything, including the PTA.

Barbara supported numerous local causes, such as the Occasion for the Arts, Heritage Humane Society, CDR, and Best Friends. She loved animals. Her house was never without dogs, always rescues, and a cat or two. She had her dogs trained to be therapy dogs and took them to schools and hospitals for the comfort of children and adults. 

Barbara is survived by her four children: Helen Ball Williams, Ann Ball, Allison B.Watson, and Markley Ball Rizzi, Six grandchildren, Lucy Hall, Claire Williams, Lillian Miller Starnes, Erin Miller, Tucker and Isabella Rizzi. Three great-grandchildren: Atticus and Bruce Hall, and Grace Starnes.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heritage Humane Society, 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

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  • December 17, 2022
    Karen Crowther says:
    What a beautiful lovely - loving - fun women - in so many hearts ❤️ forever - love to her 4 girls and love to Markley my forever sweet friend ⭕️❌🙏❤️🕊️

  • December 02, 2022
    Mary Kenny says:
    Wow so accomplished! Smart and beautiful. I was glad to have met her and her beautiful daughter Allison, her children, and grandchildren! My thoughts are with you love Mary kenny

  • November 29, 2022
    Terry Meyers says:
    I was very distressed to see word of Barbara’s passing and send my condolences to the family. When Sheila and I came to W&M in 1970, Barbara and Don were among the warmest welcomers (possibly Sheila’s being English was a factor?). And I was always admiring of Barabara’s contributions to the VG and especially of her editorship of the W&M News—a brilliant evocation of the full breadth of the College community. Terry Meyers