David George Ball, noted local author, died peacefully surrounded by his family on March 21, 2014, after a brief illness.
Born November 16, 1936, in Gloucester, England, the son of Harold George Ball, a Baptist minister, and Irene Hadley Ball, a missionary to India, he grew up in wartime England. After years of rationing and bombing during the war and privation in its aftermath, the Ball family immigrated to America in 1954. Ball felt that he had arrived in the promised land, full of delicious food and opportunity. He attended Moody Bible Institute before entering Yale University as a scholarship student intending to enter the ministry, graduating in 1960. It was at Yale that Ball met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His friendship with Dr. King inspired him to change his major to political science, and Ball's later work championing the 401(k) plan is included in his memoir, A Marked Heart.
Ball graduated from Columbia Law School in 1964 and worked as a tax attorney at White & Case, a Wall Street law firm. He later went into corporate law and worked on pensions and other legal matters as Corporate Secretary and Senior Vice President of AMAX, Inc., where in 1981 he championed the first 401(k) plan adopted by a large industrial company. From 1989 to 1993 Ball served as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Pensions and Welfare Benefits in the George H.W. Bush administration. In that position, he was able to work towards extending the 401(k) program to workers who did not have pensions and making this savings plan portable for millions of Americans. The regulation appeared in the Federal Register under his signature in October 1992.
Ball was always grateful for the many opportunities he had as an immigrant and was honored to be asked to serve our nation as assistant secretary and be able to help working Americans in their pursuit of happiness by creating more financial security in their retirement.
A familiar figure around Colonial Williamsburg, Ball could often be seen in front of the Bruton Parish Shop on Duke of Gloucester Street, wearing his straw hat, greeting tourists and welcoming them to visit the shop where they could purchase an autographed copy of his book. He directed all of the proceeds from the sale of his book toward outreach through Bruton Parish Church, where he loved to attend services and read the lesson.
Ball was a member of the Crown Colony Club and the Emerson Society in Williamsburg.
He is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Carol Gore Ball of Williamsburg; his brother Jonathan Harold Ball and his wife Arlene of Franklin, NC, and his sister Ruth Joy Dowley and her husband James, of Oxford, England; his children David, Jr. and his wife Kari of Castleton, VT, Christopher and his wife Kelly of Clifton, VA, Deborah of Honolulu, HI, Jonathan and his wife Nicole of Rye, NY, and Thomas of Charlottesville, VA, five grandchildren, David III, Lindsey, Ian, Alexander and Madeline, father-in-law Frederick Sasscer Gore, sisters-in-law Elizabeth Gore and her partner Marilyn Fox and Anne Gore Kempsell and her husband The Rev. Dr. Howard Kempsell, Jr., and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. His first wife, Morganne Lee Ball, predeceased him.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 29, at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, followed by burial in the churchyard and a reception at the parish house. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Bruton Parish Church or the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be expressed at www.nelsencares.com.
The family of David George Ball wishes to thank the physicians, nurses and staff of the Riverside Doctors' Hospital for the compassionate care and loving kindness they provided to him during his illness.