Newtown honors the life of a local mentor and community activist

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SARASOTA, FLA. - Those who knew Eleanor Ball describe her with words like determined, caring and persistent.

“She was charitable, hospitable, not to sound trite but to know her was to love her,” said her friend and pastor, Rev. Gregory Harris, Sr.

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SARASOTA - Eleanor Ball grew up in Sarasota, graduated from Riverview High School, then retu…

“She lived a life of service and truly loved. She lived love,” said Dr. Lisa Merritt.

Ball hosted an annual Future Health Leaders summer camp to encourage students towards a career in the health industry. She also taught piano lessons and genuinely loved everyone.

“She was just a remarkable and exceptional person. Words will not suffice to describe people like her,” said Harris.

At Truvine Missionary Baptist Church, the Easter Sunday worship celebration had a hint of sadness since Ball was taken from them the day before.

“The thing that hurt me so bad was the tragic way that it happened,” said Harris.

Sarasota police say Jakeilah Weeks, who had broke into her ex-boyfriend's house early Saturday morning, was trying to get away from police when she crashed through Ball's bedroom.

“She was instantaneously taken from us without suffering and if there was a better way to go I don’t know when you have lived a life so well,” said Merritt.

During the service, the church honored Ball's memory by lighting candles. Some at the Easter Service, like James McCloud, came from other church congregations to honor Ball. McCloud said he told Ball all the time she was his hero for her healthcare work in the community.

“She was the first to gather a group of black folk around the issue of healthcare.”

He says Ball may be gone but her legacy will live on.

“She has literally trained or positioned people to continue the work that she has done.”

Funeral arrangements for Eleanor Ball have yet to be finalized.