William David Ballew

November 10, 1929 ~ September 29, 2021 (age 91)


William D. Ballew, 91, of Hixson, TN, passed away peacefully with his wife by his side on September 29, 2021.

William David Ballew was born on November 10th, 1929 in Etowah, Tennessee to David Wilson Ballew and Maude Trotter Ballew. His family moved to Athens, Tennessee where he grew up. He attended McMinn High School and Tennessee Wesleyan College. In 1949, he joined the United States Navy and entered the naval aviation cadet program to become a naval jet pilot.

Upon graduation from Naval Flight School, he was assigned as a carrier pilot serving on the USS Wasp (CVA19) (attack aircraft carrier) and later the USS Roosevelt (CVA42) (attack aircraft carrier). He flew the F2H2 Banshee fighter Jet with fighter squadron (VF12). Most of his carrier service was flying combat air patrol missions. In 1953, he married the Leatha (Lea) Shadow of Decatur, Tennessee.

After five years in the Navy, he attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he graduated with a degree in Industrial Management. Upon release from active duty, he joined the Naval Reserve where he served 8 years. In 1956, he and his wife moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee where he took a job with Combustion Engineering and raised four sons. In 1985, he retired from Combustion Engineering as Director of Human Resources and Industrial Relations. During his years at Combustion Engineering, he also served as a mentor providing leadership and counseling for the Junior Achievement of Chattanooga.

He leaves behind his wife of 68 years, Leatha Shadow Ballew; sons: Kent (Angela), John (Angie), Robert (Nancy), and Joe; 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

A service will be held in Chattanooga National Cemetery, 1200 Bailey Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37404 on October 8, 2021 at 12:30. Please arrive at the Administration Office 15 minutes early for escort to the service location.
Arrangements entrusted to Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, TN 37415 (423)8773523.

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