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Obituary: Ballou, Maj. Willie “Bob”, Usaf (Ret)

BALLOU, Willie “Bob” Maj. USAF (Ret) On June 9th, 2013 Bob succumbed, surrounded by his loving family, after a brief battle with liver cancer. Bob was the first son born to Ernest and Ruth Ballou. He was raised the son of a coal miner in Harlan County, KY. At 16, Bob enlisted in the Air Force where he served as part of the occupation forces in Germany. After 4 years he left the service for a short stint in civilian life. Two months later he returned to the Air Force where he was chosen for cadet training. After cadets he worked as a Navigator / Bombardier for two years. He flew several different planes but the last one (a C-130) before his retirement, was his favorite. While in Vietnam he served as an observer, finding the enemy and calling in the appropriate services. He has 12 Air Medals, Vietnamese Medal of Honor and several other medals. He had a total of 600 combat hours. Bob never complained about any assignment he received, he was just glad he had the opportunity to fly. After retirement Bob enjoyed playing golf and bowling. Both of which he excelled at. Bob welcomed seven children into his home. It never mattered whether or not they had been born to him. He especially enjoyed time he got to spend with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. After the early death of his first wife, Bob continued to raise four children. They were later joined by two more children when he re-married. That marriage later ended in divorce. In 1975 he met and later married what he called the love of his life. They enjoyed many happy years until his death. Bob’s sense of humor was infectious and he never got tired of hearing and telling new jokes. Bob was a life member of the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars. Bob was pre-deceased by his first wife, Bonnie, his parents and his brother Jim. He is survived by his wife, Sharon; his brother, Ernie Ballou (Pam), his children Randy Rubringer, Shellie Buhl, Linda McVey, Jeffrey Cool, and Shanon Gerry. Hs is also survived by grandchildren Randy and Chad Rubringer, Amber Buhl, Angela Hainline, Shalea Mosley, Killian Mosley and great-grandchildren Kane Kennedy, Brennan McCurdy and JoHanna McCurdy. Services will be held at Hennessey Valley, Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 12:30, followed by a Military Service at the Washington State Veteran’s Cemetery at 2:15. A reception will follow at the VFW 1435 S. David Road. Suggestions for memorials would include St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Spokane, WA. Please visit Willie’s on-line memorial at Arrangements entrusted to: