Travis Ball, Jr. of Newport passed away early Friday morning, November 20, 2020; he was 78. Travis was born and grew up in Newport, where he graduated from Newport Grammar School and Cocke County High School. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Carson-Newman College and a Master’s Degree from Purdue University. A lifelong educator, Travis taught English, literature, advanced grammar, and composition at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois; at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire; at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, Indiana; and at Verde Valley School in Sedona, Arizona. After retirement, he returned home to Newport and cared for his aging parents until their deaths. Travis served as a consultant to the Newport City and Cocke County School Systems, helping to facilitate the Southern Schools Accreditation process for both. He was a devout follower of Christ and served in the teaching ministries of First Baptist Church, where he led the Golden Glow Ladies’ Sunday School class, and of Southside Baptist Church, where he taught the Men’s Sunday School class. Travis was also an accomplished and willing pianist, serving in the music ministries of both churches as pianist whenever he was needed. And he will be remembered fondly as a great encourager through his extensive card ministry.
Travis was preceded in death by his parents, Ruth and Travis Ball, Sr. He is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Steve and Sharon Ball; his sister, Mary Ruth Buckner; his nephews Mike (Mark Petty) Buckner of Murfreesboro and Dave Buckner of Johnson City; his niece, Amy (Warren) Nix of Parrottsville, who lovingly cared for Travis in his final months; and Amy’s daughter and Travis’ very special great-niece, Bella. He is also survived by a host of dear friends and his treasured pet, Mollie du Beagle. Special thanks and appreciation go to Carla, Amber, Chelsea, and Latisa of Smoky Mountain Home Health and Hospice; Don Smith, pastor of Southside; friend and physician, David J. Kickliter; and to all those who regularly prayed for and encouraged Travis with calls, cards, gifts, and visits.
An Evensong service will be announced and held at Southside Baptist Church at a later time when his family, friends, and community can safely gather to celebrate Travis’ life, faith, and witness and remember a life well-lived.
Brown Funeral Home is honored to serve the Travis Ball family.
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