Thomas “Tom” Gene Ballard

December 28, 1951 - January 23, 2020

Thomas Gene Ballard of Cape Coral, FL, passed away Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 at approximately 2:30 pm in his home at the age of 68. Tom suffered from prolonged traumatic brain injuries. Tom was born December 28th, 1951 in Morrison, IL. Following high school, Tom served 6 years in the Army National Guard. He was a loving and devoted husband, son, brother, father and grandfather. Tom worked as a tool and die maker for Quality Metal Products in Peoria, IL for 30+ years. After retiring, Tom got his contractor’s license, built four homes and worked on various projects for family and friends. There was never a project too large or too small that Tom would not tackle. He was a brilliant, talented and ingenious man. Every time Tom walked into a room his presence was known. A jokester at heart yet as determined as they come, Tom leaves a legacy of love, laughter, and life.  Anyone whom ever had the pleasure of knowing this miraculous man would agree.

In his free time, Tom enjoyed spending time in his “Mancave” comprised of his “man toys”; pinball machines, poker machines, slot machine, electronic dart board, air hockey table, jukebox, pool table and poker/billiard table. Tom was an avid Ultimate Texas Holdem’ player, St. Louis Cardinal MLB fan, college basketball fan and golfer. He loved traveling to exotic destinations with his wife, especially cruising.

Tom is survived by his beloved wife of over 14 years, Karen (Caudill); mother, Jean (Roete); sister, Sandy (Parvin), brother, Richard; daughters, Andrea (Todd) and Tionna (Pauli), son, Jeremy (Todd), step sons, Jeremy Evans (Tara), Aaron Evans (Summer), Christopher Evans (Rachael); grandchildren, Blake and M’Kenzie (Moloshco), Kamren (Pauli), Lucy, Eleanor and Ben (Evans), Allison, Emily and Natalie (Evans), and lastly his beloved Ziggy.

Tom was preceded in death by his father, Wayne; sister-in-law, Sherry; his aunt Rosie and uncle Bill Nickerson; and his beloved pets, Kato, Tigi, Gejo, Gizmo, Chloe, Waggles, and Bailey.

Services will be held at a later date.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.


  1. Elaine Ertmoed Jan 25, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Tionna-My hearts aches for you and your family. I know how much you loved your Dad. He was certainly a man of many talents and touched the lives of many people. May God send you His peace and comfort during this difficult time. Your Friend in Christ, Elaine

  2. Larry and Paula Gilmore Jan 26, 2020 at 10:41 am

    We are very sorry for your loss.
    With heartfelt condolences, our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  3. Rob and Nikki Lemons Jan 27, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    So sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. Rob worked with Tom for many years at Quality Metal Products. Prayers to the family

  4. Helen Martens Null Jan 28, 2020 at 11:25 am

    Tom and his family lived across the street from us when we were children. I’ll always have fond memories of him and his siblings. He was a big part of our ECHS class of 1970. He was a super good athlete. To say he’ll be missed is an understatement.

  5. Tim and Gail Possley Feb 11, 2020 at 12:55 am

    My Friend, Erie’s Friend, Tom Ballard is gone too soon…Ol Booker T. Ballard, a good man, may he rest in peace.

    We grew up together, and the memories are vivid. So many good times in this little town! Quite a few that you could not get away with nowadays…Hey, it was the 60s!

    Spent a lot of time together in our high school years. Riding around….A LOT of riding around! Miles and Miles! Ha ha That is what you did in Erie, when you were a teenager and had a car. Chase girls, go to the drive in, camp out, and many things that you shouldn’t do! A LOT of underage consumption was involved! Our poor parents!

    Mo was driving dad’s cheese truck around town one day. It was Mo, me, and Tom……I was sitting in the middle, lighting various fireworks and throwing them out Tom’s window. I fired up a silver salute, which is a mega firework similar to an M-80….Went to heave it out and it bounced off the window vent frame and fell at Tom’s feet…This was in front of the Christian church. Mo screeched to a haul and bailed out, I plugged my ears and Booker T froze! He was mostly deaf for the rest of the day!

    The trips to Missouri the week of the 4th of July! Driving back with a load of fireworks in the back of Tom’s Mustang and missing a stop sign, screeching into the middle of an intersection, with a State Cop sitting there…Got away with it

    Slipping, sliding, and pulling apples (donuts) in the streets, ditches, and places we shouldn’t every winter. Sliding through the intersection at the Catholic Church and straight into my driveway, stopping inches from slamming into the garage! And how about sliding under Grant Rundall’s milk truck and almost taking out the windshield! Doing donuts on the 50 yard line, seriously! Too many close calls!

    Setting the record for triangle revolutions in my 66 Chevy, Hanging out at Dilly’s Billiard parlor, road trips to Fenton!

    How about New Years Eve at Doctor Don and Shirley Floming’s place…Ger was there too? Don and Shirley were minding their bar in town..We got into all the booze and Ger got so sick….I drove us back to Erie. Ger hurled onto the dashboard of his car? And all over his brother’s coat!We left Ger parked at the gas station overnight! Dick and Doug’s Erie 66? They thought he was dead the next day!

    The many stories of working together at the Eri-Lyn Drive-in theater (got an hour), building the high bike, the scary episode at the Boat Club, (Ballard, Ray, and Pruis sinking Pruis’s dad’s 62 Chevy through the ice) many epic poker games, and wrenching on Tom’s various classic cars.

    Then there was that 1969 road trip to California:
    CLASSIC! Ger, Tom, and me, in Ger’s light green 66 Chevy Malibu SS, went to visit John Francis….Getting kicked out of a Vegas casino because we were not old enough, crossing Death Valley in the middle of the night (it was 100 degrees out), and the motorcycle guy trying to get us to stop, getting totally sunburned, Tom in the wax museum!, burgers without burger (twice) and losing that hubcap in the middle of the LA Freeway exchange! The Endless Summer………
    I Miss Tom….We All Do………Tim

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