Couples: The Ballards

City: Conway

How we met: A dance at the country club in Little Rock. 

The proposal: At the farm in Clinton while deer hunting.

Wedding Bells: Dec. 12, 1982, at Doyce and Wanda Ballard’s home in Conway.

Children: We started our marriage 30 years ago with two children each: Yale Funk, Fonda Funk Belcher, Barbara Ballard Frazier and Brenda Ballard.

Family activities: Cookouts, supporting grandchildren’s sporting events (baseball in Conway, basketball at Holy Souls in Little Rock and volleyball at Lyon College in Batesville).


Native of: Clinton

Where did you grow up: Botkinburg, eight miles north of Clinton.

Education: Clinton High School; Capital City Business College; attended University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Job: Retired sales representative for Douglas Company Inc.

Parents: The late Jim and Thelma Willoughby of Clinton.

Community activities: I enjoy attending and serving at the Senior Wellness and Activities Center and visiting with everyone. Debra Robinson and her staff do a great service for our community.

Hobbies and special interest: I have collected McCoy cookie jars for many years, but my greatest interest is being a good “Granny Kay.”

How do you describe yourself: As a person who loves my family and friends and a darn good cook.

Favorite Restaurant: The Fish House.

Most enjoyed weekend activity: Dancing at the senior center on Friday night, out to dinner on Saturday night, to a movie on Sunday afternoon or a weekend in Tunica, Miss.

Favorite quote: “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends, I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

What do you love about living in the 501: Living in a city neighborhood where I can sit on the back porch and watch birds, squirrels and deer in my yard. Having great neighbors. Feeling secure with the fire and police services and a great utility company.


Native of: Conway.

Where did you grow up: Lived in Little Rock area for 24 years, from 1963 to 1987.

Education: Conway High School, attended Arkansas State Teachers College (now UCA), continuing education at Southwest Technical Institute in fire technology.

Job: Retired batallion chief, Little Rock Fire Department (38 years), with service on the bomb squad.

Parents: The late Guy and Ollie Ballard.

Community activities: Serve on the Conway Civil Service Commission and the Care-Link Advisory Board.

Hobbies and special interest: Golf, watching grandkids play sports and niece play soccer at UCA, very special interest in the Faulkner County Senior Wellness and Activities Center and the work being done there for seniors.

How do you describe yourself: Dependable — willing to serve.

Favorite Restaurant: There are several restaurants where I love the food.

Most enjoyed weekend activity: Movie and dinner, or a casino trip.

Favorite quote: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift.  That’s why it’s called the present.”