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Celebration of Life Service: TBA
Location: Annesley United Church, Markdale Ontario

Carl Balls

July 22, 2017


Balls, Carl Stewart, of Meaford, known in the Dufferin school community as "Mr. B", and to two special little people as Poppa, passed peacefully at Meaford Long Term Care Centre on July 22, 2017 with his loving family present, at age 71. Carl is survived by his dear friend and wife of 46 years, Sheila (nee Smith) and by his loving children Michael (Sara Despres) of Chatham, and Catherine Robertson (Stuart) of Guelph. Also survived by his sister, Helen Schenk (Jack) of Tobermory, and brothers-in-law Bob Smith (Sharon) and Jody Smith (Eve). He will be lovingly remembered by his grandchildren Liam and Gwyneth Robertson and nieces Melanie Robertson (Jude), Andrea Schenk (Chris Lukie), Erin Schenk (Jai Patel) and Renata Dean (Michael). Predeceased by his  parents Stewart and Katie Balls (nee Thompson) of Wiarton.

Carl has always been a spontaneous, hands-on person involved in design, be it decorating an arena, creating stage sets for school productions, building a soapbox racer for his son or making curtains to brighten up his daughter’s bedroom. He cooked up a storm, not just for his family but for a variety of friends and occasional fundraisers. A neighbour who did professional catering used to call Carl to come over and turn her trays of food into works of art. 
Carl once built the back half of a house from the ground up. “It passed!” he reported in amazement after the building inspector checked it out. He had to be building something. His love of water resulted in his constructing a boat we christened “the Driveway Ark” . He said his motto was “just do it” and tackled everything from hand digging a goldfish pond to sewing a nightgown for his wife. 
To his students he was “Mr B”. He vowed that no child would leave his classroom without knowing how to use a hammer as well as a pencil. The children made bird feeders, some of them pretty funny looking, and kites, which Carl insisted “ALL flew”. Carl would have liked to fly too, but contented himself with flying over the waves on water skis in those years when his legs still worked. 
He always loved flowers, tending gardens at home and gathering bouquets from the fields. And he was tenderhearted towards animals, carrying a shovel in the car to bury any creature he saw left by the roadside. “They should have some dignity,” he told us. 
He sang in choirs, performed in comedy sketches(just try to imagine him as Cinderella’s wicked stepmother)was instrumental in turning out figure skating shows and directed black light theater productions, recording the music, making props, and planning the routines. Carl always needed to be “out there” creating, whether it was with a spoon, a rake, or a paintbrush.
The kind, compassionate staff at Meaford Longterm Care understood who he was. They joked with him and offered any opportunity to help with cooking or hear music. They never knew when entering his room if they would hear Brazilian jazz, classical selections, or Michael Jackson. His walls were full of art, many of the pieces being ones he painted after losing much of his vision.  But where there was Carl there was always a different kind of vision . . . the imagination to include wherever possible, humour and art and music.


Arrangements have been entrusted to GARAFRAXA HILL FUNERAL HOME, Chatsworth Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life Service will be held at Annesley United Church, Markdale on August 2, at 1:30 pm David  Fries officiating. The family invites you to a time of fellowship and reflection in the church hall following the service. Please feel free to bring a favourite dessert  to share  that you think Carl would have liked. Special thanks to the staff of Meaford Long Term Care Centre for their kind and compassionate care. Donations to the Georgian Triangle Humane Society or the charity of your choice would be greatly appreciated.  Condolences may be expressed online at

A note from Sheila:
Carl was waiting for my third book to be published. So much of it is about him and he wanted the story told. Carl . . . soon, My Love, soon.

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