After high school, Evelyn worked for the Timex Watch factory in Abilene, Texas. While living in Abilene, she met a young cowboy named Jim Wesley Ballew. They were married on January 16, 1954. He was the love of her life, and they shared it for thirty-eight years until he preceded her in death in 1993.
As her husband Jim followed cowboy work around Texas, Evelyn went with him creating a home wherever they landed. The newly-weds lived in Wingate, just outside Abilene, Texas for a time. Mason, Texas was their next stop. After purchasing a home in San Angelo, and calling Tom Green County home for a while, they packed up and moved onto the Henderson Ranch near Ozona, Texas. Then work drew them to Brackettville, Texas, in Kinney County. Shortly thereafter, the young Ballew family, now numbering five with daughter Sherry Jean in kindergarten and sons Bill and Jimmy right behind, moved to Palacios, Texas. It was while in Palacios that Jim and Evelyn met the Frankson family, and formed a life-long friendship that is carried on today through the children on both sides.
After stints in Bay City, Cherokee and Junction, Texas, the Ballew family came to rest for a number of years on the Silver Lake ranch, yet again in Kinney County, outside Brackettville, Texas. Evelyn loved the country there, and always spoke of it with fond remembrance. It was while living there that her beloved grandchildren began to appear. The next move for Evelyn and Jim was a long one, all the way to McAdoo, in the Texas Panhandle. Evelyn's husband was ranch manager of the S Lazy S Ranch, and Evelyn was, as ever, the dutiful homemaker.
It was the time spent on this sprawling ranch that allowed her to enjoy her hobbies. She loved to fish the spring-fed Bass Lake, and always took whichever grandchild was at hand out for a lesson in angling. Her favorite tackle was a green and black Midge-o-Rene, or a Texas-rigged black and chartreuse artificial worm in the cattails. Evelyn and Jim also formed a life-long friendship with the Tidwell family, also of McAdoo, at this time.
Many a time, Evelyn would be peacefully fishing on the Bass Lake in her flat bottomed boat, only to have Bill Tidwell appear suddenly in the sky in his crop duster to dive-bomb her. Bill found this highly amusing. Evelyn was not at all amused at the moment, but always saw the humor in it afterwards.
As a young lady, Evelyn was a fierce competitor in basketball and softball. As a married woman, she always had a huge garden, and prepared many a meal for her family with fresh vegetables and fruit she had cultivated herself. She taught her grandchildren to cook and bake, including her grandsons. She emphasized the need for a young grandson to know how to prepare a decent meal, because, as she put it: "The Lord knows you won't find a woman in this day and age that can".
Evelyn enjoyed a game of Magoo or poker with friends. She was an avid card and domino player and later in life enjoyed shuffleboard as an Auxiliary at American Legion Post 57 in Abilene, Texas. She was a member for thirteen years. Evelyn also enjoyed games of chance, and loved to visit the casinos in Nevada, Oklahoma, and Louisiana with her family.
Evelyn is survived by four siblings: two brothers, AC and Randolph Scarborough of Abilene; and two sisters, Mamie Corder and husband Glenn, and Annie Fowler, both of Arkansas; her daughter, Sherry Jean Roberts and husband David Wayne Roberts, of Gentry, Arkansas; two sons, William Lee Ballew and wife Margaret Mae Ballew, of Girvin, Texas, and Jimmy Wayne Ballew and wife Jamie Davis Ballew, of Brackettville, Texas. Evelyn also left behind loving grandchildren. They are John Cody Abney, of Austin; Jennifer Christine Abney, of Abilene; J. Wayne Ballew, of Houston; Laura Lee Ballew, of Copenhagen, Denmark; Bret Lee Ballew and wife Jonna Taree Ballew, also of Girvin; and Elizabeth Amanda Ballew, of Waco.
To Evelyn's great delight, she also had loving great-grandchildren. They are Kennedy Elizabeth Abney, daughter of John Cody Abney; John Cagan Abney, son of Jennifer Christine Abney; Hunter Lee Ballew and Fallon Mae Ballew, son and daughter of Bret Lee Ballew.
Evelyn was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Jim Wesley Ballew, in 1993. She was also preceded by her parents and six of her siblings.
Funeral services will begin in the chapel at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Road at 2 PM Wednesday February 10, 2010, and conclude thereafter with a graveside service at Potosi Cemetery. Pastor Lee Fuller will conduct the service, and Evelyn will be laid to rest beside her husband.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.
Evelyn Ballew left this world in full command of her faculties, completely independent, and was never a burden on anyone a day in her life, or afterwards. Her hair was freshly styled, her house was spotlessly clean, and all of her affairs were in order. And, she wasn't ever, ever anybody's "granny".