Shirley Excell Ballard grew up learning about public service just by being at home. She explains, “My father was the first Mayor of Springdale and a founding member of the Lions Club. My mother also served as Mayor. Public service was always a part of my life, and I always expected to do my part. I was chosen by the Washington County Commission to serve on the first town council when Rockville became a Town in 1987. I served for 12 years on the Council and 24 years on the Planning Commission.”
Jeff’s great-great grandfather was born in Rockville in 1867 during the Blackhawk Wars. The Ballard’s have lived in Grafton or Rockville for over 150 years. His family’s focus was always about service and hard work, too. “We were raised to step up and do what needed to be done when it needed to be done. We grew up in homes where service was a way of life.” Jeff served on the Rockville Town Council for 12 years.
Jeff was one of the members of Springdale’s first Emergency responder team in 1975. They had one station wagon that was used as patrol car and ambulance. He has been part of the fire response team ever since, helping the emergency services grow from one car to a fleet of modern and effective fire trucks, ambulance and other responder vehicles. He was also the Commander of the East Washington County Search and Rescue team for many years. When the fire chief moved away, the fire district asked him if he would serve until they found someone else. His ‘temporary’ term as fire chief lasted 10 years.
Jeff also served on the Washington County Solid Waste District Board for 12 years.
Jeff has been an active member of the Lions Club since 1975. Shirley has been an active member of the Lioness Club or the Lions Club for over thirty years. They have served a lot of pancake breakfasts and handled tons of frozen turkeys at the Turkey Shoots.
They have been married 43 years and have lived in Rockville the entire time. They have two children and three grandchildren. “They are our real legacy,’ says Shirley, ‘and they’re pretty good ones.”