It is with deep sadness that we share the passing of our mother, Mary Irene Renner Ball, who passed away Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at the home of her daughter and caregiver, Karen Ball Wolfe in Brookville. Irene was born March 25, 1926 in Pulaski County, Kentucky to Dora Ann Cromer and George Washington Renner. She was an excellent student who loved school and was known for her amazing memory. Her youthful dreams of becoming a teacher were dashed when her father died of typhoid fever when she was eleven years old. Life was difficult for her mother and Irene’s seven surviving siblings. It was during this time that Irene honed her cooking and housekeeping skills when she became the caregiver for her younger brothers and sister when her mother had to take a job away from home.
On November 30, 1940 in Brodhead, Kentucky she married Hamp Ball, son of Floyd and Louisa Bailey Ball, She caught his eye at church, after he purchased a pie she had baked for a box supper, He bid a whole dollar, a high price in those days, and she later admitted she worried if he would like it as it was the first pie she had ever baked! He did, and the rest is history.
Shortly after their marriage they first moved to St. Bernard, Ohio, and in late 1951, they purchased a small farm in Oak Forest, Franklin County, Indiana, where they raised their family. She and Hamp had nine children, six of whom survive. The family thrived on that farm, helping their parents put out a huge garden every year and tending the livestock. Irene canned countless jars of vegetables, stored apples, potatoes, and sweet potatoes in their root cellar and cooked endless meals for her family. Her fried chicken and potato salad were the best! She could put a meal together quicker than anyone, not only to feed her family, but for all the others who seemed to know when dinner time was at the Ball farm. She and Hamp raised their children to adulthood on that farm, all of whom achieved successful lives.
After her husband’s death in 1975, she and her youngest daughter, Karen, moved to Brookville, Indiana to a small house on Mill Street. Irene cared for many children in her home, as well as some of her grandchildren. All remember her fondly and with love. She was a godly woman who enjoyed reading her Bible and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Brookville. She attended church every Sunday until ill health required her to stay home. As she grew older, she retained her quick wit, and could recall the birthdays of her grandchildren up until a few months before her death.
She is survived by six children; Leonard (Pat) Ball of Richmond, Indiana, Shirley (Chris) Fehl of Connersville, Indiana, Donald (Cheryl) Ball of Phillipsburg, Missouri, Lloyd (Rosemary) Ball of St. Peters, Indiana, Linda Kay (Bob) Runyon of Brookville, Indiana, Karen (Monte) Wolfe of Brookville, Indiana; a sister, Willie Ester Hensley of Lebanon, Ohio; 27 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren, and 7 great-great grandchildren with three more on the way.
She was preceded in death by her husband Hamp Ball on July 24, 1975, three sons Robert Lee Ball November 21, 1996, Dempsey Harold Ball died at birth November 8, 1955, Charles Ball died at birth December 19, 1956; four sisters, Alice Bradley, Marie Robbins, Sarah Renner and Dorthea Renner; as well as six brothers, Monroe Renner, Edward Renner, Jacob Renner, John Renner, George Renner and Fred Renner.
Her descendants, scattered over several states will gather for one final farewell to a woman who left a lasting impact on each of them on Friday, February 21, 2020 from 5 until 8:00 P.M. at Phillips & Meyers Funeral