Gerald Ball, was never too busy to help friends and family.
By Michelle E. Shaw
Although Gerald Ball retired in 2001, he still traveled for business. The accountant was still active in a number of professional organizations, and regularly attended several industry meetings. But when he wasn’t working, Ball could often be found playing golf, tennis or jogging near the Chattahoochee River.
“That’s what makes this all the more shocking,” said his daughter, Kebby Holden, of San Diego, Calif. “He was very fit and active.”
Holden said her father went for a jog Wednesday morning, which was part of his routine. Sometime after his run, and before returning home, Gerald Todd Ball collapsed and died, police told Joan Ball, his wife of 47 years. He was 73.
A funeral Mass is planned for 11 a.m., Tuesday, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Atlanta. H.M. Patterson & Son, Arlington Chapel, is in charge. A private family burial will follow.
Ball, a native of in DeKalb, Ill., spent his entire professional career with the firm of Arthur Andersen, where he specialized in international taxes. He earned an undergraduate degree and a master’s of business administration from Northwestern University, and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He was also a certified public accountant. Though he never practiced law in the traditional sense, the degree did come in handy because he dealt a lot with international tax law, his daughter said.
His career with Arthur Andersen, started in Chicago and when he made partner in 1975 he moved to Washington. He also worked in London and Atlanta before he retired. Part of his contribution to the profession of international tax law was a two-volume work entitled “The Indirect Credit,” which he co-authored with a colleague at the Harvard Law School. It was an important tool for people in international finance and government, his daughter said.
And while Ball’s career seemed very complex, he was not, said his son-in-law, Reg Holden.
“In spite of his intellectual and business success, his core values were very simple,” he said. “Family always came first for him.”
He enjoyed sports and music and regularly engaged in both, family members said.
“He could play almost anything by ear,” Kebby Holden said, of her father’s guitar playing.
“He would pick up the guitar and sing at a moment’s notice, especially around the holidays,” her husband added. “The guitar would suddenly appear and you’d hear a version of ‘Home on the Range’ being sung.”
David Ball said his father was just as giving with friends as he was with his family.
“I knew he would do things for me, but I’m finding out now that he did these things for others as well,” Ball, of Dallas, Texas, said of his father. “Whether you wanted to talk about business, or something personal, he was always there for anyone who needed him.”
In addition to his wife, daughter and son, survivors include his brothers, Larry Ball and Jim Ball, both of DeKalb, Ill, and Bill Ball of Long Beach, Calif.; and sister, Bobbi Wiseman of DeKalb, Ill.
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