Walter “Slip” Ball Jr.

CRYSTAL FALLS – Walter “Slip” Ball Jr., 82, of Crystal Falls, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, June 26, 2014, at Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain.

Slip was born Feb. 16, 1932, in Caspian, son of the late Walter and Pauline (Angeli) Ball. He graduated from Alpha High School in 1950, and enlisted in the U.S. Army. Slip served his country for two years as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division 18th Airborne Corps and had 31 jumps.

He married Janice Chervo on Sept. 10, 1960 at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Crystal Falls and their true love for each other brought them over 53 wonderful years of marriage.

Slip was employed at Michigan Bell Telephone Co. as an engineer for more than 30 years, retiring in 1988. He was a member of Guardian Angels Church where he served as a Eucharistic Minister. He was also a member of the Louis Bowman American Legion Post 87, the Tufts-Rondon Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2891, the East Side Veterans Council, the Crystal Falls Men’s Golf Club and Bowling Leagues, the “Culture Club”and the Crystal Falls Lions Club where he was recognized as a prestigious Melvin Jones Fellow for his many years of active and dedicated service.

Slip was a board member of the Alpha Historical Society, founder of the annual family Feezik Festival and volunteered many hours for the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Crystal Falls. He loved polka music and was a member of the band, “The North Poles.”

He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing, duck, rabbit and deer hunting and going to the Ball family Camp Yaho. He also enjoyed playing softball for the Infield Bar, basketball and hockey, some of which he continued to play well into his 50s. He was a little league umpire for many yearsas well as a big FP Trojan fan, supporting all of his daughter’s and grandchildren’s sporting events.

He faithfully followed the Red Wings, Packers and Tigers. Slip loved dancing with his wife and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He did not take anything for granted and often said, “Thank you God for everything.”

He is survived by his loving wife and “partner”, Janice; three daughters, Sandra (Paul) Kleckner of Greenbackville, Va., Suzanne (Terry”Choddie”) Alexa and Julie (David) Graff, both of Crystal Falls; five grandchildren, Alyssa Hubbard, Nicholas Bogan, Fred Hubbard Jr., Gina Graff and Lee Graff; three brothers, Robert (Dee) Ball of Alpha, James (Kathy) Ball of Crystal Falls and Larry (Peggy) Ball of Dover, Del.; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Albert “Puffer” Ball and Clifford “Chick” Ball and a sister, Judy Ball.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Nash Funeral Home in Crystal Falls. A Pass-in-Review by area veterans will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home.

The funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Crystal Falls. Fr. Jeffrey Kurtz will offer the Mass of Christian Burial.

Burial will be in the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Crystal Falls. The Eastside Veterans Council will accord full military honors at the cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Nick Bogan, Fred Hubbard Jr., Lee Graff, Jim Waligursky, Larry Arcand and Mike Stankewicz.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations in his memory be made to St. Vincent de Paul in Crystal Falls.

Condolences can be expressed to the family of Walter “Slip” Ball online at

The family has entrusted the Nash Funeral Home of Crystal Falls with the funeral arrangements.