Elmer Ballard, 87, dies

Columbus, OH — Elmer N. Ballard, 87, of Gorham, Maine, formerly of Hartland, Maine, died April 28, 2022, to be with our Lord and Savior.

Elmer N. Ballard, 87, died April 28, 2022.

Mr. Ballard was born Feb. 24, 1935. He was raised by his grandparents, Joseph and Bertha Welch, who he loved dearly. He lived in St. Albans, Maine, and attended local grammar school and graduated high school class of 1954 at Hartland Academy.

He married Joann Southard and together they raised five children in Hartland, Maine.

Mr. Ballard was a very hard worker. He owned a convenience store, worked in the Hartland Tannery, but due to his love of life and the outdoors, he bought wood lots and cut wood for a living.

He was known for doing many things but two things remained constant, his love of baseball, especially his beloved New York Yankees, and his love of horses.

His attachment to baseball started at a young age in the era of his idols Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Yogi Berra. He played baseball as a child and was fortunate enough to play on two state championship teams for Hartland Academy.

His nickname was Amos. His yearbook read: Amos will long be remembered for his swell disposition, and sportsmanship. He was the leader of the Dooley Gang, and a member of the Championship team of 53 and a STAR third baseman.”

Mr. Ballard was introduced to horses when his uncle Delly came to live in Hartland with his family. They purchased a pair of work horses which he teamed to twitch wood for many years.

In 1967 he purchased his first racehorse, Mark Spirit, and from then on he was devoted and fascinated with the Standardbred horse. He raced in Maine at Lewiston, Scarborough Downs, and several fair tracks. He was involved in the Maine Sire Stakes program and accomplished 99 stakes wins with the horses he owned and trained: Unstable Sean, Gaelic Admiral, Jeter Jeter, and Elduque Dragon to name a few.

He was a member of the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association and the United States Trotting Association for many years. He was recently inducted into the New England Harness Writers Association Hall of Fame.

Mr. Ballard was a mentor to many neighborhood children and harness racing youth; he influenced a lot of kids’ lives with his time and compassion. He also coached a town team of baseball, the Hartland Tanners, where he also was a versatile player.

He is survived by his loyal and faithful partner in life of 33 years, Patricia Davis; children, John (Barbara) Ripton, Philip (Brenda) Ripton, Thomas (Paulie) Ripton, Vicky, and Laurie (Butch) MacKenzie; sisters-in-law, Sandra McNichol and Debbie Cooper; brother-in-law, Rocky Rice; 20 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 34 years, Joann; mother, Meredith Haskell; grandparents, Joseph and Bertha Welch; brother and sister-in-law, Byron (Carolyn); and sister, Bertha (Skippy) and husband, Bill Donlon.

Mr. Ballard will long be remembered on this Earth as the kind, humble, and generous person he was.

There will be no funeral services. A celebration of his life will be a graveside service at the Hartland Pine Grove Cemetery on July 2 at 1 p.m. where friends are welcome.

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