Thurman Alonza Ballard

Thurman Alonza Ballard

May 11, 1933 – March 7, 2024

VISITATION: Wednesday, March 20th from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Thursday, March 21st at 10:30am at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 6116 Dodge St.  GRAVESIDE SERVICE with Military Honors: Thursday, March 21st at 2:30pm at Omaha National Cemetery.  Memorials are suggested to St. Margaret Mary Elementary School.

To view live broadcasts of the Mass and Graveside Service, please visit and click the “Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.


Thurman Alonza Ballard of Omaha, Nebraska, born on May 11, 1933, in Scotland Neck, NC to Alonza and Marion Taylor Ballard, passed peacefully at his home on March 7, 2024.

Thurman graduated from Brawley High School in Scotland Neck, NC in 1951 and attended North Carolina State Agricultural & Technical College in Greensboro, NC. After 2 years at A&T, Thurman was struggling to pay for college and left school to join the United States Army where the served as a Radar Technician stationed in Korea. He qualified for the GI Bill and returned to A&T to finish his education and joined the Air Force ROTC.

In 1958 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and earned an officer’s commission into the Air Force. Upon completion of Navigator School, Lieutenant Thurman Ballard was honored to be assigned to a B52 Squadron. Thurman proudly and patriotically served in the Air Force, the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserves for 34 years and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In addition to flying the B52, he also flew the C130, C124, KC97 and KC135 aircrafts and during his service was awarded the Air Force Conspicuous Service Medal, Meritorious Service, and Air Force Commendation Medal, among others.

Upon his honorable discharge from active duty in the Air Force, Thurman went to work for the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Omaha as Manager of Data Processing. He held several other management and leadership positions during his career at the Phone Company and was chosen as a spokesman for the newly formed Phone Company, US West and featured in their national television advertisement campaign. Thurman was promoted to other management positions in New Jersey, back in Omaha and Denver, before finally retiring in 1991.

Thurman was always committed to serving others in his local community and beyond. He served on the boards of the YMCA and Big Brothers and tirelessly gave his time and talents to the Boy Scouts of America and the United Way and other organizations focused on building character in young people and helping others. Thurman found time for all of this while growing his career at the Phone Company, serving as a Weekend Warrior, mentor, role model, husband, father, and friend. 

After retiring from the Phone Company, Thurman split time between Las Vegas, NV, and Omaha. He had developed a love for the game of golf and began pursuing two of his goals; play golf every day of the year and hit a hole in one. He achieved the latter goal twice in the same round. In addition to his passion for golf, Thurman truly enjoyed his retirement spending time friends and family, traveling, attending sporting events, and celebrating with his neighbors, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Thurman is survived by his wife of 65 years, Yvonne; daughters, Vanessa (Jerry) Ramm and Teresa Ballard; sons, Thurman Alonza (Josephine) Ballard Jr, and Timothy (Sabrina) Ballard;  eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.



  • Marcia Bryte Posted March 9, 2024 9:01 pm

    A life well lived – a role model – an amazing husband, parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, a patriot and leader. We can all aspire to live a life like that. I’m fortunate and thankful to have had a chance to meet Thurman and his family. Thoughts and prayers to the family. He will be greatly missed.

  • Cynthia L. Hadsell Posted March 10, 2024 2:56 pm

    Thurm’s telephone friends are all saddened to hear of his passing. He was a prince of a fellow, respected and admired by all. Several years ago, I asked Thurm to be part of a tribute video for A. F. Jacobson, past president of Northwestern Bell. It’s part of an exhibit at the Durham Museum that honors Omaha business leaders. I knew his involvement in the interviews would add a touch of class to the story. The stories he loved the most were the ones about his family and how much they meant to him. Our sympathy to you at this sad time.

  • John Vondras Posted March 10, 2024 5:06 pm

    My heart goes out to Thurm’s Family. I had the honor to work with him for several years. He was an honorable, hardworking, intelligent man with the highest integrity. I also considered him a dear friend and regret not being able to visit him these last few years. He lived his life well and will be missed by all who had the opportunity to know him. He helped make the world a better place. Well miss you Thurm!

  • John Scott Posted March 14, 2024 2:49 pm

    Condolences to the family of one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known and served with. Rest in peace Thurm.

  • Jerome R Taylor Posted March 18, 2024 4:17 pm

    Condolences to my cousin, Thurman Ballard Jr,, and his family and the whole Taylor-Ballard family in the passing of Thurman Ballard Sr…’Uncle Buddy’ as we knew him, honored and respected him from our early days back inda 60’s, from family gatherings in Scotland Neck, NC..He will surely be missed 🙏✝️

  • TJ Jantzen Posted March 20, 2024 12:49 pm

    Mr. B was a great friend and mentor. He always gave you “the straight scoop” and was a paragon of class, practical wisdom and distinction. When he walked into a room people noticed and he always had a ready smile and a firm handshake.
    A true Patriot who loved America who will be sorely missed but not forgotten. See you in Valhalla Mr. B and Godspeed.

  • Toni Sherman Finch Posted March 20, 2024 8:11 pm

    My sincerest heartfelt condolences to the Ballard family. My mother Mary Sherman used to work with Yvonne Ballard many years ago. My mother was quite fond of her. I ran across the obituary today while looking for a family member’s obituary and my heart dropped. Please know, I am keeping in you my thoughts and prayers.

  • Colonel L R Hughes, USAF Retired, Vineyard, Utah Posted March 21, 2024 12:39 am

    I met Lieutenant Colonel Ballard through an Omaha neighbor of his, Captain John Gondring, Captain, USN Retired now deceased. And I had the privilege of serving with him in the military. I wish I had known about his golf, two holes-in-one about which I would have kidded him whenever possible! But then he was a modest gentleman who kept such accomplishments to himself.
    And as a cancer survivor I was gratified to learn that he passed away peacefully. He set the bar high for those of us who kept in touch with him, especially in recent years. I appreciated and was always grateful that he accepted my telephone calls.
    I know he and his family would be pleased with the condolences he received herein so well deserved. I’ll miss my friend and military colleague.
    May the Lord bless and watch over his family

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