Dr. Jerrell “Jerry” Ballard Jr.

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Dr. Jerry Ballard of Vicksburg passed away Sat., Jan. 20. He was 58 years old.

Jerry was born May 18, 1965, to Jerrell Ballard Sr. and the late Dolores Renfrow.

Dr. Ballard was ERDC’s director of the High Performance Computing Modernization Program.

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He began his career with ERDC in 1986 as a system administrator and computer programmer.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1987, he went on to earn a master’s degree in mathematics from Mississippi College and his doctorate in computational engineering from Mississippi State University.

Dr. Ballard was an advisory board member for Mississippi College, Alcorn State University, and Hinds Community College and had served as chairman of the NATO Science and Technology Organization Modeling and Simulation Research group. He is the author of 75 scientific publications.

He won many awards at ERDC including The ERDC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Equal Employment Opportunity, the USACE Innovation of the Year Award, the ERDC Vogel Scientist Award, the Service to America Award, and the ERDC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Student Research.

Jerry was a member of Hawkins United Methodist Church, where he enjoyed worshiping and serving God in various ministries.

He also experienced joy in nature and spent many hours hunting or planning to hunt waterfowl.

Jerry’s greatest love was his family. His beloved children describe him as “a compassionate problem solver” and “one who sees the best in people.”

Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Elizabeth; son, William Andrew Ballard of St. Louis; and daughter, Mary Elizabeth Ballard of Boston; sister, Karen Thomas of Clinton, Miss.; and father, Jerrell Ballard Sr.

Burial will be a private family burial. Visitation will be Thurs., Jan. 25, at Hawkins United Methodist Church from 9:30 a.m. to the hour of service at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Harrell Moore officiating. Pallbearers for the family burial will be Mark Graves, Kurt Getsinger, Tim Leonard, Roger Moak, David Moak, and Dustin Rains.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider a donation to one of the following charities: Big House Books (PO Box 55586, Jackson, MS 39296), which supplies books to incarcerated Mississippians, an organization at which Jerry enjoyed volunteering, or the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, whose goal it is to preserve and protect the natural resources of the state.