Surrounded by her loving family, MaryAnn Ball passed to her eternal reward on September 14, 2020.
MaryAnn Thurber was born to Ross and Betty Ruth Thurber in Pocatello, ID, on July 4, 1951. She always enjoyed sharing a birthday with the country she loved so dearly. The first of seven children, MaryAnn was a happy and engaging child. The family lived in various small towns in southeast Idaho while she was young.
MaryAnn grew up quickly to care for her siblings. She often said that she did not have much of a childhood. In fact, she often called her younger sister Christine “her baby.” She was an excellent playmate for her sibling, assembling games and fun for the family. MaryAnn was a talented artist from a young age and blessed many people with her art and creativity.
The family moved to Spokane, WA, in 1963. MaryAnn graduated from Central Valley High School in 1969. After working for a year as a phlebotomist in Spokane, she started at Ricks College in the fall of 1970. MaryAnn was quickly popular at Ricks and dating often. At a social event, she met Gaylon Ball, and the two were quickly dating.
Early in their courtship, MaryAnn asked Gaylon how many children he wanted. Gaylon took a chance and blurted out “eight children.” At this moment, the match was made. MaryAnn and Gaylon were married on June 1, 1971, in the Logan, Utah temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They moved to Moscow, ID, to finish studying at the University of Idaho. While living in Moscow, they had the first 3 of their eight children.
In early 1984, the Ball family moved to Boise, ID, where Gaylon had started a business in telecommunications services. The Balls were a lively bunch in Boise. MaryAnn assumed her role as a mother to many with love and a permanent positive attitude. All her children graduated from Capital High School and went on to higher education.
By the late 1980s, she was disquieted by the prevailing parenting philosophies of the day and eager to become a better parent herself. She dedicated herself to learning how to be the kind of mother her Heavenly Father knew she could be. She read and prayed and wrote and experimented and prayed some more.
The result was her own brand of parenting that focused on children learning how to manage themselves in an environment of love and support. She called it “Parenting with Courage.” She and Gaylon taught thousands of people how to parent with courage and love in many settings.
She was a prolific writer, publishing eight books. Her books focused on parenting and included a fiction series.
MaryAnn was thrilled to see her children grow up, serve missions, get married and, at long last, give her grandchildren. She assumed the role of grandmother with enthusiasm. She loved and got to know each child individually.
MaryAnn had an abiding love of the Lord and a desire to serve him. Among many church callings, she served as a temple worker and shift coordinator in the Boise Temple for nine years. She loved the work and knew the importance of it. This desire to serve came to fruition in 2014 when she and Dad were called to a mission in the Hong Kong Temple. Mom accepted the call and served a wonderful mission. She served the people of Hong Kong with love and enthusiasm. They loved her, and she loved them in return.
We have relished every minute with Mom over the past few years. She waged a serious fight against cancer—relying on prayer and her own intuition to know what to do. She lived much longer than anticipated and enjoyed a high quality of life.
We miss her wit and humor, love and caring, faith and conviction. MaryAnn did not have a loud voice, but she had an immense positive affect on her family on all who knew her.
MaryAnn is survived by Gaylon, her husband of 49 years, eight children and their spouses: Ross-Anne Gibson (Scott), Jonathan Ball (Samantha), Mindy Marshall (Kevin), Jacob Ball (Natalie), Charity Johnson (Benjamin), Joseph Ball (Heather), Joshua Ball (Brittany), and Zachary Ball (Nikki). She leaves 39 adoring grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
There will be viewings Friday, September 18, 6:00-8:00pm, at the family home located at 14180 N. Ball Manor Ln., Boise, and again on Saturday, September 19, 10:00-10:45am, followed by a funeral service at 11:00am at the same location.
To send flowers to MaryAnn's family, please visit our floral store.