OBITUARY: Robert Wallace ‘Bob’ Ballard


Robert Wallace “Bob” Ballard, 64, resident of Columbia, died Thursday, August 10, 2023 at Maury Regional Medical Center.

Born on August 28, 1958 in Swannanoa, North Carolina, he was the son of the late Major Carl Welch Ballard and the late Mable Stone Ballard.

He was a 1976 graduate of Charles D. Owen High School in Swannanoa, North Carolina, earned his Major in Aviation from Volunteer State in Gallatin in 1978, Major in Business from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina in 1979, and Major in Aerospace from Middle Tennessee State University in 1982.

Mr. Ballard worked for over forty-six years in aviation at several different aircraft companies, including Gallatin Flying Service, Business Jet, Shelby Aviation, ORR Aviation, Executive Air Charter, Inc., CenGen, Inc, The Drying Team, Inc., TAC Air, Conn Air/Corp AirFleet, Executive Air Services, Inc., Aerial Imaging East, LLC, MB, Inc., A to Z Office resources, Jones Flying Services, Dollar General, Sterling Marlin, R&D Tire, FBO Manager at Maury Regional Airport, and SimCom.

Mr. Ballard was a Pilot with twenty-eight years of experience in Merlin, King Airs, Navajos, Cessna 421, 404, 402, 303, 210, Part 91 experience in Cheyennes, Commanders, Conquest, MU. A Chief Pilot for nineteen years in Part 135, Check Airman and Training Pilot for six years, and Chief of Operations for four years with 24 aircraft, 27 pilots, 2- Lear 24’s, 2- Lear 25’s, King Air 200, Commander 690 A, 840 A, MU2, and two different 135 operations.

Having 19,129 flying hours, Mr. Ballard was trained in flight safety in Merlins/Metroliners to Part 135 specifications. He had over 2,989 hours in flying jets and several Formal Flight Trainings.

Mr. Ballard was a member of Knob Creek Baptist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Linda Brown Ballard of Columbia; daughters, Mekia (Jason) Wray of Santa Fe; Kelly (Justin) Cecil of Columbia; Jennie Ballad Eady of Smyrna; grandchildren, Wesley Wray, Adam Wray, Sawyer Cecil, Ace Eady, Wyatt Cecil; and brother, Michael Ballard of Charlotte, North Carolina.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Carl Ballard, Jr.

A memorial service will be conducted Sunday at 7:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home with Reverend Stephen McCollum and Keith Bolton officiating. The family will visit with friends Sunday from 5:00 P.M. until service time at the funeral home. Condolences may be extended online at


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