Howard Lee Ball, Jr.

Howard Lee Ball, Jr.

August 24, 1949 – November 14, 2021

The family will receive friends Wednesday, November 17th from 5pm to 7pm followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm, all at West Center Chapel.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Thursday, November 18th at 12:30pm at St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church, 16701 “S” Street.  Interment: Omaha National Cemetery Thursday, November 18th at 11am with Military Honors by Benson VFW Post 2503..  In lieu of flowers:  Memorials are suggested to Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Memorial at

To view live broadcasts of the Vigil Service, Mass, and Graveside Services please go to and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.<<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>>

Howard Lee Ball, Jr. was born August 24, 1949, to Howard Sr. and Freda (Graham) Ball in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and proudly served his country in Vietnam in 1969.

After returning from his years of service, Howard moved to Colorado where he attended University of Northern Colorado and stayed in the area after graduating.  Soon he met the love of his life, Sharleen Martens.  They married on March 1, 1980, and have laughed and adventured almost every day since.  Together, they adopted two children, Veronica “Ronnie”  and Howard “Howie”, and made wonderful friends who became like family.

Upon retirement, Howard returned the focus of his energies to serving his country, this time through working with veterans.  He served as a mentor in the Veteran’s Treatment Court of Douglas County, volunteered with the Vietnam Veterans of America, and was serving as vice president on the board of the Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the time of his death. When he wasn’t working for these organizations, he focused on his other passions: his grandkids, his friends and family, and his Mustang.

He was a loving grandfather with three grandkids who adored him and who will miss him deeply.  He was a fun-loving and generous friend. Howard was a prankster with an incredible sense of humor and a penchant for slightly inappropriate jokes.  Our world will be a little less fun without him in it, but it was made so much brighter for knowing him.

Howard was preceded in death by his parents, Howard Sr. and Freda: siblings, John Ball and Joyce Robinson; brother-in-law, Michael Wyatt. He is survived by his loving wife, Sharleen Ball; daughter, Veronica Blevins (Joey); son, Howard Ball III (Jessica); grandchildren: Samantha, Kathryn and Joseph Blevins; cousin, Ken Figgins; many nephews and nieces; numerous extended family members and dear friends.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Memorial at





  • George Abbott Posted November 15, 2021 1:24 pm

    RIP brther!

  • Mayor David Black Posted November 15, 2021 1:44 pm

    Sharleen: I am so sorry.

    While I only met Howard within the last few years – it was an honor to know him. From the moment we met his passion for Veterans, especially Vietnam Veterans, and his enthusiasm to see Nebraska finally get an official Vietnam Veterans Memorial was contagious. Anytime we met he would light up the room – so kind and welcoming. Truly enjoyed visits with him. He will be missed.


    David Black
    Mayor City of Papillion

  • Lisa Cuevas-Jorgensen Posted November 15, 2021 2:22 pm

    Shar and Family, I only knew Howard a short time working with him on the NVVMF memorial project. He was a go-getter and worked tirelessly. He was just a good guy and I will miss him. We’ll get that Memorial done! For Howard.

  • Mick Wagoner Posted November 15, 2021 2:33 pm

    Howard epitomized Semper Fidelis. I’ll never forget the work he did with the Veterans Treatment Court and the NVVM Foundation. Fair winds and following seas my friend. You are missed.

  • Rod “CIB” Ulfers Posted November 15, 2021 4:00 pm

    The world will miss you as will I

  • Terri Nosal Posted November 15, 2021 10:06 pm

    My deepest condolences to you & your family during this time. As I read the adventures of your days it made me understand what a rich life the two of you shared together. You were an amazing wife and so lovingly cared for him as the days went by. He must have been so grateful for that presence during those challenging moments. God bless and keep you safe, strong, and at peace knowing the gift you had with each other for so many years together . You are into thoughts and prayers as you honor his life.

  • Craig Stemple Posted November 16, 2021 10:23 pm

    Howard was a really good friend. We spent a lot of time together in the neighborhood. I moved when I was about 10 and really didn’t see him much after that. Glad to know he was successful and has many friends and a loving family.

  • Toni Wyatt Posted November 17, 2021 11:46 pm

    A life well lived.
    A man well loved.
    We have lost another one of the good guys.

  • Mary Anthony Gillespie Posted November 21, 2021 8:58 pm

    My condolences. I grew up in Council Bluffs living next door to Howard.

  • Kevin Ruser Posted February 6, 2022 6:31 pm

    SharleenI just happened across Howard’s obituary by happenstance. Please accept my sympathy. You wrote such a gracious note when Mom died and I appreciated that so much. I didn’t realize you were in Omaha. Would love to get together sometime- I am in Lincoln. Please feel free to reach out to me at my email address. Kevin Ruser

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