Nathan Ballard

Published 6:10 pm Monday, November 13, 2017

Nathan Ballard, 42, of Washington, passed away on Saturday, November 11, 2017, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Following a private interment, a celebration of life will be held in Greenville at a later date.

Nathan was a life-long student and learner. Born in Columbus, Ohio, his life and interests took him to Normal, Oklahoma, Orono, Maine, Rhode Island, Ohio, and North Carolina. He was just a few assignments away from his Masters in Teaching Arts at East Carolina when illness struck. He loved literature, poetry and science, among numerous academic interests. His dream was to teach English in High School. He said frequently, “I want to teach so I can excite kids about knowledge.”

Throughout his life, he remained proud of his education at Orono High School in Maine and Brown University, where he earned his undergraduate degree and won three varsity letters in baseball. In high school, he earned varsity letters in soccer, basketball, and he pitched a no-hitter to win the 1993 state high school championship.

Nathan had numerous academic and athletic achievements and recognitions. He was the rare person who seemed accomplished at nearly anything he tried…cooking, the guitar, Rubik’s cube, golf, darts and so many others. At his heart, he was an intelligent, sensitive, introspective human being who especially loved his close friends, his cats and dogs, sister Laine, and recently his little niece, Tulah. Nate was an avid reader across numerous topics, including modern literature, astronomy, poetry, climate change and the art of pitching. First edition books were a prized possession, and he relaxed by playing the guitar. He was a source of pride for all of his family for how much he did, but more so for who he was.

He is survived by parents, Dr. Steve Ballard and wife, Nancy; sister, Laine and niece, Tulah; friend, Sarah Connelly; cousins, Aron and Rene; uncle, Jacoby; life-long friend, Hassan Saada; and grandmother-in-law, Gwen Ballard.

The family wants to thank his medical teams who provided so much care and attention. In particular, Hilal Kanaan and Paul Walker with Vidant and Brody School of Medicine and the entire team led by Henry Friedman at Duke. Nate believed in the wisdom of Gustave Flaubert, who said, “There is not a particle in life which does not bear poetry within it,” and Nate always looked for the poetry in life.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in honor of Nate to the Nathan Greg Ballard Scholarship Endowment, via or via check to the ECU Foundation c/o Christopher Dyba, Mail Stop 301, 2200 S. Charles Blvd, Greenville, NC 27858.

Arrangements are by Wilkerson Funeral Home and Crematory.

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