OBITUARY: David Rhea ‘D.R.’ Ballard


Mr. David Rhea “D.R.” Ballard, a cherished member of the Columbia, Tennessee community, passed away on June 16, 2024, surrounded by loved ones in his home.

Born on September 15, 1947, to the late Lawrence and Mary Frances Ballard, Mr. Ballard lived a life filled with love, service, and dedication.

In May of 1967, David united in marriage with his beloved Nancy Johnson Ballard – a union that brought him immense joy until her passing in 1999. Answering the call to serve his country, he bravely joined the United States Army and became an integral part of the 4th Infantry Division. His valor and courage during his service in Vietnam were recognized with both a Bronze Star and Purple Heart medal.

Throughout his life, David wore various hats professionally but took great pride in establishing his own telecommunications business, Diversified Communications. A man of faith and values, he attended Highland Church of Christ and passed on these principles to his three children

When not immersed in work or family life, David found solace in leisurely activities; from shooting pool with friends at Mama’s Country to passionately supporting the UT team alongside his cherished “Shop Crew.” His fondness for the beach and basking in the sun was his ultimate relaxation.

Leaving behind a legacy of love and laughter, Mr. Ballard is survived by his loving children: Bryan (Dana) Ballard, Peter (Ann Marie) Ballard, and Stephanie (Paul) Zimmerman; adoring grandchildren: Brooklyn (Colton) Provey, Brinley Ballard, Ellen (Joby) Smith; Taylor (Cheyene Wiese) Edwards; Nicholas (Callie McDaniel) Edwards; Kelsey Edwards; along with three precious great-grandchildren. He is also remembered fondly by his special friend Ellen Akins and a large circle of friends who will forever hold him dear.

A memorial service to honor and celebrate Mr. David’s life will be held on Thursday, June 20, 2024. Family and friends are invited to pay their respects between 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM followed by the service at 6:00 PM, officiated by Bill Yancey.

His memory will live on through the hearts he touched and the lives he enriched during his time on this earth. May he rest in eternal peace.

The care of Mr. David Rhea Ballard and his family have been entrusted to the staff of Williams Funeral Home. To share words of comfort and condolences, please visit


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