Irene Ballard

Irene Ballard, 95, of Marshalltown, formerly of Conrad, entered into eternal life Sunday morning, Sept. 26, 2021, of natural causes at Grandview Heights Rehab & Healthcare under the care of the Iowa River Hospice. Irene’s funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29 at the Mitchell Family Funeral Home with burial following at Rose Hill Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be directed to her family for later designations. For further information or to send Irene’s family a condolence, please visit or call 641-844-1234.

Irene Mildred Vajgrt was born on August 19, 1926 in Clemons, Iowa, the daughter of Benjamin and Blanche (Raymon) Vajgrt. She grew up in State Center and attended public school. On February 12, 1947, she was united in marriage to Richard Ballard. The couple made their home and raised their family in Conrad.

Irene then began employment as a nanny for the Taylor and Fisher families of Marshalltown. She worked as a nurse’s aide both early and later in life for those in need in the Conrad community. She was a news reporter for the Conrad Record and worked for a short time at Wolfe Creek Woodworking. Irene also worked in the food service department at the Conrad Public School and later was a hostess at the Regency Inn and at the Pizza Ranch in Conrad.

She was a member of the Conrad United Methodist Church, the Order of the Eastern Star, the Conrad Entres-Nous and the Conrad Quilting Club. Irene’s passion was quilting and she made hundreds of quilts for her family, friends and neighbors. She also enjoyed outdoor wildlife - feeding the birds and squirrels and watching deer. She was a very good cook and enjoyed hosting her family at holidays. She always baked large amounts of Christmas cookies for family and friends. Irene loved playing bingo and the lottery. One of Gary’s favorite yearly events was his mom, Irene, spending a day in the combine with him. Most of all, Irene was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great, great grandmother, friend and neighbor. She will always be loved and deeply missed.

Those left to cherish her memory are her children: Carolyn (Jeff) Sonkens, Gary (Beth) Ballard, Ann (Gary) Novey and Mark (Tom Finney) Ballard; her grandchildren: Stefanie (Charles) Nichols, Garrett (Brooke) Ballard, Brooke (Brent) Thome, Brent (Paige) Novey and Lauren (Danny) Romeo; her step grandchildren: Heather Bagnall, Blake (Jessica) Way, Alyson (Shawn) Edelen and Jacob (Mercedes) Rowley; her great grandchildren: Perrin and Ben Thome, Eden Nichols, Hazel Romeo and Garrison and Guy Ballard; her step great grandchildren: Brandon, Mya, Klyne, McCoy, Megdalyn, Jensen, Corena, Easton, Aubree, Nicholas, Aiden, Carter, Elijah, Averee, Elijah, Ezekiel and Ezra; and a step great, great grandchild, Aubrey.

In Eternal life, Irene joins her parents; her sisters: Sophie Shipley, Blanche Wardell, Mary Determan, Helen Slinker and in infancy, Elsie, and her brothers: Amiel, Andy, Albert, Benny, Johnny, Charles, Jim, Martin and Harold.


The Grundy Register

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