Central High’s Roger Ball Remembered

Central High School 

and the Central community lost a great educator Dec. 19, 2020. Before his retirement in 2018, Roger Ball was instrumental in developing the American Welding Society Certified Welder program at Central High School. He even returned to substitute in the welding lab in 2020, despite his ongoing battle with cancer. 

With an artist’s eye and a craftsman’s skill, Roger was able to build anything, including playground equipment, cookers, even a clock and a pitching machine from scratch. But Roger was proudest of helping to build young men and women in his 30+ years as a welding instructor at both his alma mater Istrouma High and then later at Central. He guided his Wildcat Welders to certifications and numerous awards in MIG and TIG welding competitions. Many went on to high-paying jobs in the manufacturing industry. 

The important life skills Roger taught stayed with his students, and many, who are adults now with children of their own, credit Roger for their success. 

“I’ll never forget the man who didn’t let me go down the path others had taken in high school, but pushed me to be different because he saw something in me that I didn’t even know I had,” recalled Andrew Breau. 

“He is the reason I am where I am today. Mr. Ball gave me advice in life that has taken me very far and was one of the most humble men I have ever met. We have kept in touch since I left the high school. He continued to give me advice, and any time I was wondering if I was making a good choice for my career, or even my life in general, he would be the one I would call,” Andrew said. 

Former student Trey Habig agreed, saying, “Mr. Ball instilled skills and a work ethic that I utilize every day in and out of work. Even though my career took a separate path from welding, I still use the skills I learned in his class everyday. He was a great mentor and will be greatly missed.” 

In addition to the many students whose lives he touched, Roger leaves behind friends and coworkers at Central High who will remember his faith, commitment, loyalty, love of the outdoors, and fondness for camellias and day lilies. 

  Roger is survived by children Kelly and wife Lacey Pennington Ball, Corey Ball and wife Sally Trammell Ball, and loved one Sharon Kennedy Ball, as well as grandchildren, Mason James Ball, Luke Bradley Ball, Hudson Paul Ball, and Gavin Patrick Trammell.  He is also survived by his mother, Wreatha Jean Ball, siblings Lisa Crayden Ball, Ronald James Ball, and David Wayne Ball. 

  The entire Central High family sends prayers and gratitude for a great man and a great teacher, Roger Dale Ball. 

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