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10/24/17

Death of a Classmate - Lawrence Dennis Ballou - 11th Co.



 Lawrence Dennis Ballou died October 20, 2017 in Macon, Georgia.

He was born in Tallulah Falls, Georgia, December 18, 1931 to Pauline Hughes and Lawrence Cooper Ballow. The family later moved to Macon where Dennis graduated from Lanier High School in 1949, and received a scholarship to Georgia Tech. After a year at Tech, he was awarded an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1954 near the top of his class. During his Navy career he attended Webb Institute, earning a master's degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. His career was primarily in designing and supervising the construction of nuclear submarines. He retired as a Commander, after 20 years of service.

Upon his retirement from the Navy he obtained a law degree from the University of Georgia and practiced law in Athens for several years before assuming a position supervising the engineering and construction of the MARTA rail program. At its conclusion, the Georgia Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing Dennis' contributions to the rail program, noting that in his five years at MARTA he had opened a complex of line and stations ahead of schedule and under budget. This accomplishment led to a job overseeing the construction of the heavy rail system in Singapore, a project which lasted four years. He returned to Singapore in subsequent summers to teach at the Nanyang Technological University, in the School of Civil and Structural Engineering.

On his return to the U. S. he worked for the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority on its renovations to Grady Hospital, and also taught over a dozen engineering courses at Georgia Tech over many years. He was awarded "Most Inspirational Teacher" by his students in the School of Mechanical Engineering. For several years he had the joy of teaching Georgia Tech students abroad in Australia, New Zealand, England and France. Of the many jobs of his career he often said that teaching was the most rewarding.

Dennis was predeceased by his first wife Jennie Frost Ballou, to whom he was married for almost 50 years. He is survived by their children, Elizabeth Ballou Gibbs and husband Jeff, Robert Ballou and wife Roberta, Richard Ballou and wife Saideh, David Ballou, and Kathryn Ann Ballou Breedlove and husband Jeff. He is also survived by his second wife Kathleen Peeples Ballou as well as two step-daughters, Katie McDonald and husband Robert and Polly Sattler, nine grandchildren two step-grandchildren and his brother Robert Ballow and wife Jean.

He loved the mountains where he was born. He loved hiking, was a whitewater canoe enthusiast, steadfastly attended to his own particular favorite trails, and gloried in the beauty of the gorge and its surrounding parks. A favorite memory is the sight of him climbing over railings into his 80s, to retrieve trash left behind by visitors hiking along the rim trails. He loved poetry and classical music. He loved to hear his grandchildren recite the poems he had tasked them with learning, not easy ones. He relished a good argument. He thought character was important and worked hard to build his. He was driven throughout his life by his strong sense of duty.

A memorial service will be held in Tallulah Falls at a later date. There will be a visitation at Idle Hour Country Club Tuesday, October 24 from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. The family asks anyone so moved, in lieu of flowers and in memory of a career devoted to engineering and education, to consider a gift to the Lawrence Dennis Ballou Scholarship Fund at Georgia Tech, Georgia Tech Foundation, Inc., 760 Spring Street, Atlanta, GA. 30308. The family wishes to express their appreciation to Pine Point Hospice, and its staff, especially Donna Battson, for her concern, graciousness and many kindnesses. Hart's Mortuary has charge of arrangements.

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