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Updated: 04/16/2014 08:00:03AM

Billy C. Ball

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Billy C. Ball

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Billy Curtis Ball passed away peacefully Tuesday, March 25, 2014, of COPD/emphysema and lung cancer at 71 years of age.

Born Jan. 4, 1943, in Booneville, Ky., he moved to Laurel, Fla., with his family at the age of 3, where he grew up and attended Venice High School, graduating in the Class of ’61 with honors and a full teaching scholarship to the University of Florida.

Billy came back to teach science and math at Venice High School for 39 years, where he gained the respect and admiration of all his colleagues and students alike. A great reader who had a command of the English language, Billy loved to fish with his best friend since he was 6 years old, Robert Hodson Jr., and his brother, Bob Ball. He was a quiet yet well-spoken man.

He retired from teaching in 2004 and moved to Linville Falls, N.C., with his wife, Lee, but always thought of Florida as his home and was happy to return here as his final resting place. Billy’s wishes were to be cremated and placed in a crypt next to his mother Elizabeth Birch Ball’s gravesite at Venice Memorial Gardens cemetery.

Billy was a wonderful, loving father and a beloved husband. He will be missed beyond words. Go in peace to our Lord, Billy Curtis Ball.

He is survived by his wife, Lee; his 4-year-old son, Curtis; his brother, Bob; his five sisters, Ruby Curry, Rena Boehme, Thelma Stewart, Alyeen Smith and Norma Jean Williams; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Services: There will be a service honoring Billy’s life at Venice-Nokomis United Methodist Church at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 19, with pastor Rick Stackhouse presiding. All are welcome to attend. There will be a covered-dish reception to follow after the service in the Fellowship Hall of the church.