September 18, 2021 ~ 12 Tishri 5782
Captain Joseph Ervin Ballew (US Air Force, Retired) died at his home in Haltom City, Texas, on September 18, 2021.
The military called him Joe. His family called him Ervin.
Ervin was born in Magnolia, Mississippi, on August 25, 1938, to Elsie W. and James Ellis Ballew. He moved with his family to Paducah, Kentucky, at age 14. Ervin graduated from Heath High School in 1956 and enlisted in the United States Air Force that same year. Ervin served in the Security Intelligence Service of the Air Force and was in the Vietnam War. After serving in the war, Ervin attained two bachelor’s degrees, Master of Science degree, and the rank of Captain. Upon retirement from the military in 1977, Ervin worked as a procurement specialist for Bell Helicopter, traveling to many countries.
When Ervin eventually fully retired, he became reacquainted with his enjoyment of golf, which he learned while caddying for Kayo Mullen as a teen at Paxton Park in Paducah.
In his sixties, Ervin returned to Paducah and lived with his mother, whom he loved dearly. His mother, Elsie, loved her Jewish faith and helped Ervin become involved in his religion. Ervin took his mother to Sabbath services at Temple Israel, which was a time when he became more spiritual and learned to read Hebrew.
Ervin loved his family, his children, grandchildren, animals, and nature. As he aged, he became very connected to nature. Ervin would tell stories about his children’s antics when they were growing up, and he would throw his head back with true deep enjoyment and laughter. Ervin will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Ervin was predeceased by his mother and father, Elsie Ballew and James Ellis Ballew; his ex-wife and good friend, Carolyn Ballew; oldest daughter, Debbie Ballew; two brothers, Leonard Ballew (E-ling) and Alan Ballew (Phyllis).
His surviving family are two sons, Joey Ballew of Haltom City, Texas, Kevin Ballew (Jori) of Buda, Texas, and daughter, Serena Ballew of Denver, Colorado. He has two surviving sisters, Suzanne Ballew of Jerusalem, Israel, and Dr. Laurie Ballew (Joyce Sims) of Paducah, Kentucky, and his “baby brother” Michael Ballew (Debbie) of Alon Shuvut, Israel. In addition, Ervin leaves behind several grandchildren whom he adored and many nieces and nephews.
Graveside services for Captain Ballew will be at 11:00 a.m. CDT at the Temple Israel Cemetery located on Lone Oak Rd, Paducah, KY. Bradley Kale, a Temple Israel Trustee, and a family friend, will lead the service.
Memorial donations may be made to your local Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Arrangements are entrusted to Herman Meyer & Son, Inc. of Louisville, KY, Dallas Jewish Funeral Home of Plano, Texas, and Milner & Orr Funeral Home of Paducah, KY.