Barbara Bowen Ballard, wife of acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles President M. Russell Ballard, died in her Salt Lake City home on Oct. 1. She was 86.
Mormonnewsroom.org announced Sister Ballard’s death. No cause of death was given, but the press release says Sister Ballard faced a long battle with health problems, including Alzheimer’s, “with her characteristic grace and sense of humor.”
“Without the help and direction of Barbara, our family relationships would not have been as happy and fulfilling as they were,” President Ballard said about his wife. “Barbara is a treasure for our family forever. We honor her for her constant love, good judgment, and counsel.”
President and Sister Ballard were married on Aug. 28, 1951, in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sister Ballard was the mother of seven children, 43 grandchildren and 90 great-grandchildren.
President Ballard has frequently spoken about his wife during his General Conference addresses, noting her influence on their family as a faithful mother.
“My dear wife, Barbara, has had an eternally significant influence on our daughters and granddaughters — and they, in turn, on her,” he said in a 2010 address titled “Mothers and Daughters.”
BYU-Idaho named Sister Ballard the Exemplary Woman of the Year in 2002, citing her dedication to her family, church and community.
According to mormonnewsroom.org, funeral services will be held on Monday, Oct. 8 at noon at the Monument Park Stake Center, 1320 S. Wasatch Dr., Salt Lake City. A public viewing will be held on Sunday, Oct. 7 from 5 to 7:30 p.m., also at the stake center.