Lieselotte "Lisa" K. Ball passed away on 1 November 2012 at Sparks Hospital due to a sudden stroke and subsequent cerebral hemorrhaging; she was 83. Lisa was born on 12 September 1929 in Wachenbuchen, Germany, a small burg east of Frankfurt Am Rhein. She spent her formative years there, one of seven children in the Kropp family. As a farming community, Wachenbuchen was spared the heavy devastation of allied airstrikes on larger nearby population centers. As a young teen during the war, she did witness some of the horrors of war. She had vivid memories of the day she and her best friend, Analise, rode their bicycles to Hanau the day after the massive allied airstrike on the city on 19 March 1945 in which thousands died and 85% of the city was destroyed. Wachenbuchen and the surrounding area was eventually occupied by the U.S. Army and one day, she met an easy-going U.S. Army sergeant from Rudy, Arkansas, our father, Charles E. Ball. Our dad was a farm boy himself and he fit right in with the people of Wachenbuchen. Generous and sharing, he helped the townspeople who had endured years of privation during the war. He would "midnight requisition" fruit and goodies from the enormous bounty of his unit's mess hall and distributes it to the children in town. Since Germans could not possess firearms during the occupation, he would take them hunting, using his assigned weapon to shoot rabbits for them. When Dad and Mom finally married in September 1948, to honor them, the townspeople arranged for the couple to lead the wedding party on a long procession along the town's streets. Bound for America, our Mom's expectations were high, she had heard so much about our great country. But when she stepped off the train in little Rudy, Arkansas, she was having doubts. She was warmly welcomed by the Ball family and she quickly came to admire and love the American culture and people. From 1948 to 1962, Lisa was a military wife accompanying Dad on assignments to Washington State, Montana, Upper Heyford, England,Tripoli, Libya and Newburgh, New York. Dad retired to Van Buren, Arkansas in 1962 and Lisa then assumed the role of breadwinner in our family. She secured a job as a saleslady in the Sears Store on Main St. in Van Buren in 1965 and went on to work another 25 years for Sears. She loved that job and applied her German work ethic to it, complaining only about the Sears rule that salesladies had to wear high heels all day long while working. Charles passed away in 1993 and Lisa filled her life with friendships made at Sears, especially with her longtime, dear friend Juanita Edwards. She doted on her cats, gardened and couldn't wait for her British sitcoms to air on PBS. As the dementia progressed, her world got smaller and smaller, and she spoke more often of her childhood in Wachenbuchen, recounting every little detail of events that shaped her. It was during those moments that you could see in her eyes, that brave young German girl, witness to war and love of our father's life, from so long ago.
Lisa is survived by her son Ralph, and wife Aleida of Tampa, Florida and daughter Linda Breeden and husband Gary of Seattle, Washington; sister Erika and brothers Helmut, Friedel, and Walter, all of Germany, including her special niece, Ramona of Germany; loving granddaughter, Trinika of Sanger, Texas; grandsons, Christoper and Ryan Breeden of Seattle, WA and 7 great grandchildren and her enormously patient, compassionate and understanding caregiver, Joy Westbrook of Van Buren, from across the street.
Graveside service will be 12:00 noon Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at Fort Smith National Cemetery in Fort Smith, AR under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home in Van Buren, AR.
The family will receive friends from 10:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home in Van Buren, AR.