NEIGHBOR PROFILE


 
 
Lilian Ballard
 

As one of the last remaining "natives" in Josephine, Lilian Ballard has seen a lot of change in her 94 years.

Lilian was born in north Georgia and spent her formative years in the college town of Athens, Georgia.  She graduated in 1938 with degrees in both English and Library Science from the University of Georgia and those degrees have served her well.  Most recently, she was a librarian at Robertsdale High School in the 1970's.  Many Robertsdale alumni fondly remember Mrs. Ballard and still come up to say "Hi" occasionally.

Lilian's father, Clarence, was an Osteopath, back when that was a new science and had a practice in Clearwater, Florida in the '30's and '40's. 

Lilian spent many summers in central Florida.  She met her husband, Austin, when she was visiting a friend in Pensacola, where Austin lived.  He fell in love - almost at first sight - and pursued her through letters and even long, treacherous trips from Pensacola to Clearwater on the weekends - no small feat in the '40's!  She eventually took him up on his proposal and they were married.

Austin was a native to Josephine, having been born there in 1913.  His family came down from Selma around the turn of the century and settled in the Ross Point area.  He bought property in Josephine in 1942 and eventually moved there permanently from Pensacola.  He worked Civil Service at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola for 36 years, retiring in 1973.  Austin was very active in the community and was a founding member of the Josephine Volunteer Fire Department as well as being very active in the Foley brance of the Optimist Club.  He passed away in 1997 and is fondly loved, missed and remembered by all who knew him.

Lilian and Austin have three children:  William, Sherry and Robert.  She has three grandchildren and a new grand baby.  They all still live in the area and see her often.

Austin and Lilian had over 55 years together enjoying and loving the unique community of Josephine with its rich history and bountiful waters.  Lilian still lives in a nice home overlooking Arnica Bay, with a good quality of life and loving, supportive family.  She has come to be known in the community as "The Queen of Josephine" and that title is truly appropriate for such a noble lady.

 

PHOTO:  Austin and Lilian Ballard, 1989

 

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