May 27, 1933 - July 26, 2020
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Bountiful
Willard James Ballantyne, our loving father, brother, grandfather, great- grandfather and friend, rejoined his wife, parents, Savior and Heavenly Father in Heaven, on Sunday, July 26, 2020, surrounded by his loved ones.
Jim was first born of a pre-mortal father and mother as a spiritual baby in a pre- mortal sphere. When his time came to journey the earth and obtain his earthly body it was to be to the home of Willard Burton and Louise Wilde Ballantyne in an earthly body created by his earthly mother.
Jim began the mortal part of his existence on May 27th, 1933, in Coalville, Utah.
He was sick during his first days of life and was told he may not live. His mother clenched her fists, declaring that he WOULD and that he would go on to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He grew up in Park City, Utah, attending the Marsac Elementary School and Park City High School. At a young age, Jim came down with Scarlett fever that left him mostly deaf, but that didn’t stop him from doing all the things he wanted to do. He played the the trumpet in the high school marching band, and earned himself the nickname “Torpedo” playing basketball and football. His inability to hear kept him out of the military service during the war years.
He was a dedicated member of the Church, serving in various capacities such as secretary of YMMIA, Elders, Seventies and High Priests Presidencies, Sunday School and various others. As a young adult, he fulfilled his mother’s proclamation, serving a mission in Great Britain from 1955-1956.
He attended the University of Utah from 1951-1953, and transferred to Brigham Young University after returning from his mission, a decision he called a blessing. He married his destined sweetheart, Dawn Elaine Hughes, in May of 1958. From their wonderful union were born four wonderful and beautiful children, Melanie (Jensen), Russell, Rosalyn (Andrews) and Jeffrey. Dawn passed away early in her life, returning to her Heavenly Father in May of 1995 after a long battle with cancer.
He worked with several companies doing accounting and other labors, retiring from the LDS Church Welfare services in September of 1998.
In late adulthood, Jim suffered a stroke that eventually landed him in the hands and home of his loving daughter Rose and son-in-law Leo. He was an incredibly strong man, and fought hard to be with his loved ones all the way up to his last breath.
His family, friends, and neighbors will always remember the way he made them feel. He was friendly and outgoing despite his speech impediment and lack of hearing. From bouncing and sitting on his knee, waking up to his singing voice “Time to get up, time to get up, time to get up in the morning,” to being comforted and cared for by him during hardship and sickness, he truly was the world’s greatest father and grandfather. He taught his family to be hard-working, to always give 100% or more, and most importantly, how to love unconditionally.
He is survived by his brother, VerDon (LaWana), his children, Melanie (Mike) Jensen, Russell (Allison), Rose (Leo) Andrews, and Jeffrey, as well as by his 9 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
He will be missed more than words can express, but his memory, grace, and spiritual presence will bring his family great hope and comfort throughout the weeks, months and years to come.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 30, at 11:00 am, at Russon Mortuary in Bountiful, Utah. Visitation will be from 10:00-11:00 am, prior to services. Graveside services following at the Bountiful Cemetery. Due to unfortunate circumstances such as COVID-19, his family is sympathetic and understanding of those who are unable to attend. Services broadcast at Facebook live https://www.facebook.com/russonbrothersmortuary