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Friends pay their respects to Eleanor Ball

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SARASOTA, FLA. - Eleanor Ball grew up in Sarasota, graduated from Riverview High School and called Newtown home.

“To know her was to love her. She was outgoing. She was industrious, kind of a workaholic,” says  Rev Gregory Harris, Sr., her friend and pastor.

“She worked here endlessly at the church and through out this community.”

Ball was known a pillar of the Newtown community, championing the importance of health related issues. Dr. Lisa Merritt worked with Ball on multiple health projects.

“She was also designated through the state of Florida through their faith based initiatives, so she was a very important community partner in helping to gather all the church communities in our area through our programs with the Gatekeepers of Community Health and other programs to conduct innumerable health related activities,” said Merritt.

Ball held an annual summer camp for kids, encouraging them to pursue a career in the health industry.

“There has been many young people in this community who are in the health care profession today because of Eleanor,” said friend James McCloud.

She also spent time mentoring kids and teaching piano lessons.

In 2012 Eleanor Ball was selected the ABC 7 Who Care volunteer of the year for her work in the community.

During an interview in 2012 Eleanor Ball explained why she worked so hard on health related issues in her community.

“Someone has to take the lead and I feel that's my mission because of the passion that I have that I just want to help,” explained Ball.

At Truvine Missionary Baptist Church where Eleanor Ball was a long time member and part of the staff, church members were busy on Friday preparing for Miss Ball's funeral on Saturday. They are expecting a large crowd to show up and pay there respect to a much loved member of the community.