Born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma to Bill and Marie Ballard. She would spend her formative years in Houston, Texas. She graduated with honors from the University of Houston. Sheila and Greg would meet in Houston, fall in love and spend thirty-nine wonderful years married. Thirty-three in Longview, Texas.
Sheila was an ordained chaplain, Stephens Minister and mentor, friend and encourager to scores. She pastored a Wednesday night worship service at several local nursing homes for years. One of her favorite servitudes was that of officiating funerals and “death bed watch” for families. Also, a past proud member of Zonta International Women’s Organization, a past “Stars over Longview” recipient and decorated as “A Woman of Achievement.” She leaves as her legacy the Valentines Widows Banquet, growing from just twenty into the hundreds, about to celebrate its 25th year.
She was a current employee of Gregg County as the Director of Longview Community Center. She loved her job, but don’t tell anybody she often said, “I have my own auditorium, stage and lights.” Prior to her career at the Center she worked along side the Sheriff’s Department and Auditing. She is often remembered fondly by East Texans for the 15 years she co-owned with her husband, Greg, “Rainer’s Unique Gifts.”
Her greatest joys were her family and close friends. Besides her husband, Greg, she is survived by one of those best friends, her mother, Marie Ballard with whom she loved with all her heart. Also surviving here are her mother-in-law, Edie Rainer who taught her so much about being a young Christian woman and wife. She was mother and mother-in-law to wonderful son and daughter-in-”love”, Tyler and Sarah Rainer. And she was “She-She” to the most handsome Greyson, 6 and precocious Adelaine, 3 all of Longview.
Further surviving her are “lifetime of love” dear aunt Lois Tanner, cousins, Bill and Debbie Tanner, Carolyn Holder and Marilyn Smithee all of Oklahoma. Deborah Dryden of Charlotte, NC also survives her. Many wonderful “summers of memories” were carried in Sheila’s heart with these cousins.
Bill Ballard, her father, brother, Michael Ballard, father-in-law, Jim Rainer all preceded her in passing as well as many much-loved cousins, aunts, uncles and adored grandparents.
What was not to love about Sheila? That love shone through her smile and heart and immersed you unconditionally in her aura of a true friend!
Lastly, she leaves behind her husband, Greg. IF you know “him” and “them” as a couple, then you truly got a glimpse of a boundless illuminating love, unmatched passion, care and zeal for life. Indeed, it was a flaming spiritual kind of love.
Alas, their “Camelot” has ended all to soon.
Services will be 10 AM Saturday, May 18, 2019 at First Baptist Church, Longview, Texas with viewing beginning at 8:30 to service time. Final words under the pavilion at Rosewood Park before private family graveside interment. Officiated by Rev. Mike Brittian under direction of Rader Funeral Home.
While she loved nature and flowers, please feel free to make a donation to the charity or cause of your choice.