Sunday, February 16, 2020

Fayetta Elkins-Ballard

Fayetta Elkins-Ballard, age 99 years, affectionately known to her family and friends as “Aunt Dink” passed away Tuesday morning, October 1, 2019, at 8:32 AM at the Hillview Health Care Center in Vienna where she had made her home for the past several years.  Fayetta was also a former resident of Goreville.

Fayetta was born November 18, 1919 in Buncombe, Illinois.  She was the daughter of Samuel Fayette and Edith Reece (Stewart) Elkins.

In March 1990, Fayetta was united in marriage to Kenneth L. Ballard at the Goreville United Methodist Church.  Kenneth preceded her in death on November 22, 2004.

Fayetta is survived by her beloved son – Gregg Elkins of Carbondale; four generations of nieces and nephews; her extended Ballard family from her marriage to Kenneth; as well as a host of friends and former students. 

In addition to her parents and husband, Fayetta was preceded in death by all her siblings: Bon M. Elkins, Colin H. (Lula) Elkins, Mary Maxine (Virgil) McKenzie, Louise (Oval) Parrish-Henderson, Katherine (Truman) Dick, and James Preston (Edith) Elkins; as well as her much beloved great niece – Heather Harper Treat and her great-great niece – Lauren Carlton.

Fayetta was a graduate of the Buncombe High School.  She received a teaching certificate from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.  She later returned to SIU and earned a bachelor of science in education degree.

Fayetta was a lifelong educator.  She began her teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse at Moscow Public School in Union County.  She also taught elementary education in Anna, Tunnel Hill and Vienna until her retirement.  Finding that retirement did not suit her well, Fayetta began working in the office of the Johnson County Supervisor of Assessments.  She continued her work in the Assessor’s office until again retiring.   Through the years, Fayetta also worked as a waitress at Ned’s Shed restaurant in Vienna, she sold World Book Encyclopedias, tutored young children, and taught head start during the school summer breaks. 

Fayetta was a faithful and active member of the Johnson County Retired Teacher’s Association as long as her health permitted.  She was also a member of the Goreville United Methodist Church. 

Fayetta and Kenneth loved dancing.  She also enjoyed spending time with her family and many friends.  She particularly enjoyed Sunday afternoon drives with her son Gregg.  These drives always involved stopping for ice cream.  Fayetta also enjoyed the company of her sisters, Louise, Maxine, and Katherine, when they all lived close enough to socialize on a regular basis.  Fayetta is also remembered for her love of clothes shopping.  She was a lady of timeless grace and class.  She will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by all who knew her. 

Gregg would like to extend a very special thank you to Great niece Robin Harper Whitehead who gave endlessly of her time and love to make Mother’s last years and especially last weeks, and the very end, full of sweet tender gentle kindness. Mother and I love you dearly.

A service honoring the life of Fayetta Elkins-Ballard will be conducted Thursday evening, October 3, 2019, at 6 PM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna. Pastor Steve Heisner will officiate. An opportunity will be given during the service for those attending to share memories, reminisces, and stories of Fayetta’s long and exemplary life.

The family will receive relatives and friends prior to the service from 4 PM – 6 PM Thursday afternoon at Bailey Funeral Home.

Those wishing to attend a brief committal service prior to her interment are invited to gather at Bailey Funeral Home at 7:45 AM Friday, October 4, 2019, to leave in procession at 8 AM to travel to Mt. Zion Cemetery, east of Buncombe.

Memorials may be made to the Johnson County Retired Teachers’ Scholarship Fund, c/o Barbara Watkins, 7680 Dutchman Lake Road, Tunnel Hill, Illinois 62972 or to the Heather Harper Treat Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 98, Vienna, Illinois 62995.

To share a memory of Fayetta or to leave an online message of condolence for her family, please visit

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