Charles Cameron Ballard

Charles Cameron Ballard

Age 73, Luray, Va.

Charles Cameron Ballard, 73, passed away Sunday, November 5, 2023, at his home in Luray. 

Charles was born April 2, 1950, in Stanley, and was the son of the late Frank Hartsel Ballard and Jean Graves Ballard. 

He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Shirron Ballard, daughter Julia Ann Ballard-Savage (Paul), and son Ben Cameron Ballard (Auslynn).

After graduating with honors from Page County High School in 1968, Charles attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg, majoring in Modern European and Modern West African History. He continued to dedicate his academic career to African History, earning a Ph.D. and accepting a position as senior lecturer at the University of Natal, South Africa. He is considered a leading academic in the field of South African history, having published numerous scholarly articles and several books. Dr. Ballard is best known for his major study on South African frontiersman, John Dunn as well as The House of Shaka: The Zulu Monarchy Illustrated.   

Upon his return to Virginia in 1993, he taught collegiate level history at James Madison University, the University of Mary Washington, and Laurel Ridge Community College. His passion for public service extended to his role as Economic Development Director of Page County, where his advocacy resulted in EMCO Enterprises choosing Luray for the location of their manufacturing site. He was subsequently County Administrator. In 2003, Charles successfully ran for District 3 Supervisor, serving until his retirement from office in 2007. 

Charles was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, the Page County Republican Party and Page County Civil War Commission. He served as president of the Page County Heritage Association that published his research on local historical topics including Assessing Slavery in Page and Rockingham Counties, Virginia, and also From Iron Plantation to Company Town: The Shenandoah Iron Works, 1836-1907. Dr. Ballard was involved in historical preservation projects as well. Through his efforts Graves Chapel in Stanley was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. His service to Page County included the addition of the Laurel Ridge Community College satellite location in Luray along with the building of new schools.

Charles came to know the Lord at age 12 and his Christian faith was an essential part of his life. He was a member of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church.

Pastor Mike Nichols will conduct the funeral service at Mount Carmel Baptist Church on Saturday, November 11, at 11 a.m., preceded by a viewing from 10 to 11 a.m. Burial will be at Graves Chapel Cemetery followed by a reception at the church.

Memorial contributions can be directed to Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 2331 U.S. Hwy. Bsn. 340, Luray, VA 22835.

Arrangements are being handled by The Bradley Funeral Home where floral tributes may be sent.

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