Barbara Jean Ballard was born October 27, 1938 in Cleveland, Ohio. She was one of four children born to Willie Belle and Leroy Ballard. Her siblings were Leroy (Skippy), Bertram (BB) and Michael, who all preceded her in death.
She met the love of her life when she was 8 years old. She was asked to play house and she said only if Anthony Matthews could be the husband. Little did she know her statement would become a reality. They kept in touch and married on January 25, 1956. They had a happy and loving marriage, and to this union four children were born, Melonie, Antony (Feedy), Melissa and Michael.
Barbara was selected to be a part of a special major work group of children, who took trips together and excelled in their school work. They were affectionately called “the Kenny Kids” , Barbara kept in touch with this group throughout her life until she fell ill. When referring to who was the smartest in the family, she would always say she was because she was a “Kenny Kid”.
Barbara was a secretary and bookkeeper at Great Lakes Textiles. She later became employed with the Shaker Heights School System and retired from there in 2001.
Barbara and Anthony were introduced to Jehovah’s Witnesses through their young daughter and initially researched and debated until they were convinced they were speaking the truth about the Bible. Barbara, Anthony and Melonie were all baptized together in 1974. Barbara and Anthony were active in their ministry. They spent much of their time helping others to come to an accurate understanding of the Bible, including her parents.
Barbara loved planting her flowers each year, sewing, feeding the birds, and reading Bible history. If you came to her house she was always ready to bestow her southern hospitality on you, and if you stayed long enough she would make sure you had a blanket to keep you warm. She was know for making a good banana pudding for her family and friends.
Barbara enjoyed her life and faced her days with gratitude and courage. She is survived by her loving husband Anthony, her children, Melonie (Ted), Antony, Melissa (Chris) and Michael. She also leaves to mourn her grandchildren, Da’Ani, Michael, Kennedie, London and Parker as well as a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives. Memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 20. 2022 at the Kingdom All of Jehovah's Witnesses, 4334 Lee Road, Cleveland, Ohio, 44128 Visitation 1:30pm -2:00pm, Memorial service at 2:00pm.
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