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A Tribute

August 21, 2009

On Wednesday morning of this week, The University of Texas at Tyler, and particularly her friends and colleagues in the Office of University Advancement and elsewhere in the administration, lost a beloved friend and colleague when Rosemary Ballard unexpectedly passed away during a medical procedure. She leaves behind her husband, Wayne; their daughter, Amy Tarrant and Amy's husband, Don; her sister, Kathy Campbell; three grandchildren; and two nephews.

For those who wish to pay their final respects to Rosemary and comfort her family, there will be a visitation on Friday from 5 – 7 p.m. at Burks-Walter-Tippett Funeral Directors at 215 East Front Street in Tyler. Her funeral will be on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the same venue. Burial will take place following the funeral at Tyler Memorial Park Cemetery, 12053 Hwy. 64 East. The family has requested that any memorial gifts be directed to The University of Texas at Tyler for scholarships.

Before she came to UT Tyler, Rosemary worked at Trane, Exxon, and the Texas Medical Foundation. For many years, Rosemary also served as church organist at Southern Oaks Baptist Church. 

Rosemary worked at UT Tyler for more than 16 years on behalf of the Office of University Advancement. During that time, she, along with her good friend Brenda Cantley, worked with chief development officers Evelyn Muntz and Joy Duncan, Mary Irwin, Nancy Lamar, Deanna Sims, and me. They have been the institutional memory for that office, as well as the solid foundation, greatly contributing to the efforts of their colleagues with whom they have served.

Those who know Rosemary are aware how dedicated she was to the University and to her responsibilities. She was absolutely dependable, self-reliant, honest, and of immense integrity. If you knew her even fairly well, you also knew she had a wonderful sense of humor that lay just beneath the surface of her more serious façade. And if you really knew Rosemary, you likely knew that she was always the first to send a note of thanks for a kindness shown her or were the recipient of encouraging words and notes - all of this bourne out of a kind heart and fierce loyalty. 

You may have also known that she was the biggest Dallas Mavericks fan at UT Tyler – though three of her friends in what was at least an informal Mavericks Fan Club on campus, might feel they were her equal in their fervent support of Dirk and his teammates.

It is often said about those who leave us that she or he is irreplaceable. Speaking as a colleague, that comes very close to being an actual fact in Rosemary’s case. At the Office of University Advancement, we already know that to fully find another Rosemary is not possible. 

Today, Rosemary is in a better place, leaving behind the rest of us who find comfort and joy in knowing she is in the arms of God, but we cannot help but wish we had at least a little bit more time with her. We know above all else, though, that God will be gentle with Rosemary. Indeed, it would not be surprising to one day learn that her new assignment is in the heavenly administration, keeping up the list, in her impressive fashion, of those who will one day follow her home.

Jerre K. Iversen

Vice President for University Advancement

August 20, 2009


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