Mary Carolyn Hayes Ball was born in Lexington Kentucky July 6, 1938 as the first born daughter to Dr. Elmer Russel Hayes and Mary Francis Whiteside Hayes. Carolyn learned to love music and the piano from her mother who worked as a church Music Director in Greenville, Texas during World War II). When Dr. Hayes returned from Europe after the war the happy couple added another daughter to the family – Julia Anne, Carolyn’s younger sister.
Carolyn attended Highland Park grade schools and High School and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English. While attending SMU, Carolyn pledged as a Kappa Alpha Theta and was the editor of the school newspaper and yearbook. She also met the love of her life – a handsome, fun-loving Marine Corps aviator -- Robert Ball.
The two married February 5, 1960 after graduating from SMU and lived briefly in Dallas where Carolyn gave birth to fraternal twin boys: Charles Russell and Stephen Andrew in May of 1961. Robert Ball found his calling with the Federal Bureau of Investigations taking Carolyn and his family to live in such places as New Jersey, St. Louis, California, Puerto Rico, where daughter Mary Catherine was born, eventually settling back to Texas in Waco for the remainder of his career.
While happily being Mrs. Robert A. Ball, Carolyn filled her time with family, friends, volunteering for local political campaigns, and hobbies such as sewing, quilting, and cooking. She learned to play the organ in her 40’s and was the organist for St. Louis Catholic Church for about 20 years. In her later years after the death of her husband, Carolyn moved in with her daughter and grandson and lived a happy life in Laguna Vista, Texas and later in Fort Worth, Texas. Her greatest regret was her long years of smoking. COPD slowed her down but did not diminish her resolve, her humor, or her inner strength.
Carolyn lost her battle with emphysema at home under hospice care on August 19, 2022 at the age of 84. She was preceded in death by her husband Robert Anthony Ball, her parents, many dear friends, and her first born son Charles Russell (Chip) and Chip’s first-born son Anthony Graham Ball. She leaves behind a son Stephen, daughter Mary Catherine (Cate), and grandsons Robert Anthony (Tony), Robert Alexander (Alex), and oldest grandson Nathaniel Hayes (Nate), his wife Michelle, son Graham and daughter Grace.
Carolyn’s ashes will be interned with her husband at Waco Memorial Park on Friday September 16, 2022 at 11:00 am. A celebration of life service will be held at the Leonard Memorial Chapel of First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth at the 500 block of Macon Street on Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 1:30 pm. Friends and family are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to the SPCA of Texas or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.