Man celebrates 101st birthday at MorningsidePublished 1:03pm Wednesday, February 27, 2013
By Aldo Amato
MADISON – Perseverance and determination are words that few can use to describe the life they have lived.
However, a man at a local Madison assisted living facility has redefined those words for a life that spans a century.
David Ballance Sr., celebrated his 101st birthday on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Morningside of Madison Assisted Living with family, residents and staff.
Ballance’s son David Ballance Jr. said that he was so happy to see his father celebrate yet another milestone in a life that has been full of hard work and dedication.
“Well it’s pretty neat,” the younger Ballance said. “We did some research and found out that he is the oldest member who ever lived in our family.”
On hand for the celebration was Ballance’s granddaughter and 93-year-old brother who he raised since he was 13 years old.
Ballance Jr. said that his father’s humble beginnings and maturity started when his grandfather passed away.
“When my grandfather passed away, my father was only in the sixth grade,” he said. “So he had to drop out and help raise his family.”
Morningside of Madison Program Director Amy Simms said that Ballance worked 10-hour days for 75 cents an hour when he started out in North Carolina. He would go on to become a farmer and cattle rancher, which became his main occupation until he stopped working at 90.
Ballance Jr. said that his father’s dedication to his craft was inspirational.
“He was really passionate about his work and a well respected cattleman,” he said. “In fact, people would come across the state to seek his advice on cattle ranching.”
Simms said that she once asked Ballance what the secret was to living such a long life.
“He told me ‘hard work and old-fashioned food like sweet potatoes,’” she said.
Ballance Jr. said that if there was one thing that he gained from watching his father age gracefully throughout the years was that it was to find something he enjoyed doing and stick with it.
“It was his teaching of work ethic,” he said. “He taught me to find something you’re passionate about and stay with it.”