Johnnie E. Ballue
September 12, 1956 – March 31, 2019
Preceded in death by father, John Ballue; step granddaughter, Hope Foster. Survived by wife, Karen Campisi-Ballue; mother, Pauline Ballue; sisters, Nancy Lowrey and Deb Haug (Doug); children: Katie Ballue-Dommel (Jon), Margaret Ellingson, and Jack Ballue (fiancée, Megan Culbertson); stepchildren: Nicholas Foster (Jill), Dustin Foster, and Jordon Foster (Kara); grandchildren: Charlie, Emry and Judah Dommel, Audie and Roswynn Ellingson, Anela, Teagan, Wyatt and Ryder Foster, Cooper Foster, and Joel Foster; many nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends on Friday, April 5th from 5pm to 8pm at the West Center Chapel. CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Saturday, April 6th at 5pm, West Center Chapel. Memorials will be directed by the family.
John was born in Auburn and grew up in Brownville, Nebraska. He graduated from Auburn High School in 1974. He attended Peru State College later and graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management Technology. In addition to Brownville, John also lived in Peru, Nebraska City, Gothenburg, Lincoln and finally Omaha working construction jobs for several different companies. He even farmed for a while, too. John began working for the University of Nebraska in 2006 as a construction inspector. A dedicated and hard worker, he was very proud of his work for the University and enjoyed his job very much.
Everyone will tell you that John led an adventurous life. Stories he told would leave you with your head spinning. He once moved an entire house to a different location in Peru, Nebraska because he liked the house and it was “cost effective” to buy it. He gutted it and remodeled it mostly himself. He loved that house.
A loving father with a son and two daughters, John met Karen online in June 2010. AT the time John lived in Lincoln and Karen lived in Omaha. They finally had their first date on August 5th at Vincenzo’s in Lincoln followed by a walk around campus to show off his various jobs, ending with a stop for a chocolate martini at the Starlite Lounge. The next weekend was Karen’s birthday and he drove to Omaha with a birthday gift, a Husker t-shirt of course. After that, they spent almost every weekend together either in Lincoln or Omaha. During the week, they would Skype on their computers. They were meant to be together. John had planned to take Karen to a nice restaurant to propose to her, but one night decided he couldn’t wait and got down on one knee in her kitchen. They were married on February 22, 2013 in the banquet room at Lo Sole Mio Ristorante surrounded by all of their children and grandchildren. They honeymooned in Jamaica the following week. It was a dream vacation for both of them.
John sold his Lincoln home and moved to Omaha, commuting to work in Lincoln every day. Even though he didn’t like the drive, he did it because of his love for Karen. John loved to golf and was in a golf league. He also went on a golfing trip every year with his friends from the Y Street gang. He golfed as often as possible until he got sick two years ago.
John and Karen purchased a home in Springfield, South Dakota near the Missouri River and Lewis and Clark Lake. They gutted the house and worked hard on remodeling it, and it was a great place to get away and enjoy skiing and boating and fishing. There were only a few things left to fix when John became ill in 2017. Although the goal was to bring their whole family together for some fun on the lake and river, John and Karen never got their wish.
Everyone liked John, who would light up a room when he walked in with just his smile. He loved to make people laugh, especially by telling corny jokes. Nobody could tell them as good as he could. He would frequently ask his nurses if they knew any good jokes, so it wasn’t unusual for the nurses to greet him with a new joke. A very caring man, John would drop what he was doing to help someone who needed him. He was a kind and loving husband, father, and friend. We are all blessed to have known him and loved him. He will be missed.