SARASOTA, FLA. - A rain soaked morning didn’t stop nearly 500 people from filling Truvine Missionary Baptist Church to celebrate the life of Eleanor Ball. The nearly four hour funeral was punctuated with tears of sadness as well as plenty of laughter.
Ball worked tirelessly in the community as a health advocate. She sat on countless boards including the American Cancer Society and was constantly inspiring kids to work in health care. Many in attendance at her funeral shared how Eleanor Ball made a difference in their own lives.
“Miss Ball set the direction in my life and inspired my to become a young woman of success” Maribel Prezas.
While she did not have any biological children of her own, Ball was still mother to hundreds of children in the community.
“We were her baby girls or her little darlings,” said Latonya Brooks, adding “she would just take you and train you and mold you. Where ever she saw a need she would meet it.”
Ronald Watson grew up with Ball as a neighbor and a classmate. He said she was always a natural leader. “We called her Ma Barker because of strong will and her strong guidance. She was a person who could guide you with knowledge as well as spirit.”
Those in attendance heard how Ball trained others to walk in her foot steps.
“She would say honey you are going to be my future. You are the future of tomorrow and so I need to make sure that you are trained,” said Brooks.
Ball's family enjoyed hearing all the stories shared of how her life impacted others.
“Today I realize that along with myself she's impacted the community in a very similar way. She's helped peoples speak, she's helped people come together, she's taught people the essence of loving one another and for that I know that even after today she will always be here,” said her great nephew, Jeremiah.
Eleanor Ball was laid to rest at Palms Memorial Gardens.