Laura Ann Ballenger
Laura Ann Ballenger
  • July 4, 1941 - January 21, 2017
  • Charlottesville, Virginia

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Laura Ann Gerlach was born on July 4, Independence Day, 1941, in Kenton, Ohio, and was the first of three daughters to Virginia May Barrett Gerlach and Francis Harry Gerlach. Laura graduated from Theodore Roosevelt H.S. in Kent, Ohio in 1959, and went on to Heidelberg College in Tiffin, where she met her future husband and father of their two children, Ralph Ballenger. Prior to her children, she achieved a Master's degree in Education from Ohio State University, and worked in Columbus, Ohio as an elementary school teacher. Laura loved the town of her birth and her Grandparent's farm nearby (Harry and Anna Gerlach), and returned there in 1975 to live the next 40 years. She moved to Charlottesville, Va. in 2013, where she could be close to her daughter, Kelly Anne, who was her closest confidant, and later in her life, primary support. Laura excelled at everything she set her mind to. She enjoyed and was very skilled in art, competitive swimming (including synchronized), and golf. She loved to compete and won many ribbons and trophies, including winning the Kenton Golf Course Women's Club Championship twice (and had several holes in one). Laura was fun, had a strong sense of humor, and could beat the best at Jeopardy, Trivial Pursuit, or BINGO. She had an untamed spirit and will be missed by many. Laura was preceded in death by Virginia May Barrett Gerlach and Francis Harry Gerlach. She is survived by her loving partner of 36 years, Ken Rossman, of Kenton, Ohio; her loving children, Dr. James (Gina) Ballenger, and Dr. Kelly (Lewis) Owens; grandchildren, Will, Sophie, Quinn, and Posey; sisters, Lynne (Jim) Bishop, and Nancy (Gary) Klein, and many dear nieces and nephews. Services for Laura will be private. Donations in Laura's name may be made to Our Lady of Peace Nursing Home in Charlottesville, Va. and Kenton Memorial Golf Course.