Wendy Jayne Ballard, 63, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, at her home in rural Marengo with her family at her side after a battle with Burkitt's lymphoma. Private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Newhall with Father Craig Steimel officiating. Burial will follow at St. Michael's Cemetery, Norway. A public visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, at the Blairstown American Legion Hall. A memorial fund has been established. Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo, is assisting the family with arrangements. Face masks and social distancing are required.
Wendy Haage was born March 6, 1957, in Cedar Rapids, to Richard and Beth (Brecht) Haage and grew up in Norway, Iowa. She graduated from Norway High with the Class of 1975. Shortly after graduation, on June 14, 1975, she was united in marriage to Ron Ballard at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Norway. They moved to the country and she spent several years as a homemaker before returning to school, where she received her associate degree of nursing from Kirkwood in 1988. She was employed as an RN at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids for over 30 years and was counting down to retirement when she became ill in April 2020.
Wendy loved traveling, camping and antiquing with her family. A favorite place was Branson, where she and Ron made many trips over the years. She had plans to go to Hawaii, back to Yellowstone, and to start wintering in Arizona with Ron after retirement.
She loved all her grandchildren dearly and was so looking forward to watching them grow. She loved bears, pandas in particular, and had a very large collection. Wherever she traveled, she enjoyed collecting souvenir bears and miniature spoons along with taking many pictures. She was never without her camera on a vacation. Wendy was a talented seamstress and was known to make matching outfits for her children when they were young. She proudly made wedding dresses for all her daughters, and crocheted and sewed many blankets, outfits and quilts for her grandchildren. She was an avid fan of Stephen King and Garth Brooks.
Left to cherish her memory is her husband of 45 years, Ron; her parents, Rich and Beth; five children, Martin (Missy) Ballard, Sarah (Brian) Heims, Angela (Jason) Kruse, Melissa (Shane) Unkel and Adam (Rachel) Ballard; and 16 grandchildren, Kohle, Kaitlyn, Drew and Bryce Ballard, Shawn, Derrick, Trey and Taya Heims, Chelsea, Jonathan, Hailee and Lacey Kruse, Aric and Brandon Unkel and Carson and Rylie Ballard. Also surviving are three sisters and a brother, Linda (LeRoy) Ballard, Gary Haage, Lori Haage and Theresa (Barry) Kimm.
The family would like to thank Dr. Sabarish Ayyappan and the University of Iowa Cancer Clinic for their wonderful treatment of Wendy during her journey with lymphoma.
Online condolences may be left at www.klosterfuneralhome.com.