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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bernard K. "BK" Ball, 78, Smethport, PA

SMETHPORT, PA - Bernard K. "BK" Ball, 78, passed away peacefully with family at his bedside at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA, Tuesday (May 11, 2010) after a long, hard-fought battle against multiple health issues.

Born Feb. 25, 1932, he was the only child of Bernard A. and Jennie Jane Kohn Ball. He was a resident of Smethport his entire life. On June 26, 1955, he married the former Carol Jean Cummings of Eldred, the love of his life.

Mr. Ball graduated from Smethport High School in 1950 and from Grove City College with a business degree in 1954. He then took over management of the family owned Holmes and Gilfillian Co., a large builders supply yard and manufacturing facility that built the Spot-O-Matic Pin-setter.

Later, Mr. Ball entered the logging and pulpwood business where he was constantly looking for improved methods of harvesting and transporting timber. He was the first contractor in the area to adopt the use of the Prentice hydraulic loader, a device that is now a commonplace sight on nearly every log truck in the region.

He enjoyed a lifetime of hunting, cooking, reading and especially spending time at his beloved camp, Beechwood, where he regaled his family and many friends. The pre-buck season dinners around the big table at Beechwood are a well-known tradition in the Smethport area as are the various summertime celebrations.

Following in the footsteps of his father's friends, who took him under their wings when his father died while he was still a youth, BK "adopted" many of his friend's sons and grandsons as well as his children's friends to be part of the Beechwood family.

Mr. Ball was a member of Smethport United Methodist Church, McKean Lodge 388 F&AM, Coudersport Consistory AASR, past member of Smethport Lodge 389 IOOF, honorary lifetime director of the McKean County Fair Association, and a life member of the Smethport Fire Department.

Surviving, besides his wife, are three sons, Bernard E. "Ben" (Barbara) Ball, David S. Ball and Thomas E. (Kimberly) Ball, all of Smethport; a daughter, Susan E. Ball of Pittsburgh; six grandchildren, Danny of Pittsburgh, Kristi, Alex, Zachary, Stephanie and Sydnee, all of Smethport; a step granddaughter, Nicole Windsor of Highland Park, IL; and numerous cousins.

To honor Mr. Ball's wishes, there will be no visitation. A memorial service will be held Saturday (June 5, 2010) at the United Methodist Church of Smethport. The gathering will begin at noon with the memorial service beginning at 1 p.m.

Memorials may be made to the United Methodist Church of Smethport, Rosehill Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 1503, Smethport, PA 16749, or to a charity of the donor's choice.

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