Dorothy “Dolly” Ballance Ebel, a long time resident of Oak Ridge, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 18, at Clarity Pointe of Knoxville, where she resided in the memory care unit.
She was preceded in death by her husband Robert Ebel, her brother Edwyn Ballance, her sister Mrs. Gwenith Thompson, and grandson Marcus Ebel.
Dorothy was born August 2, 1919, in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Ellen and Alfred Ballance. She was the eldest daughter in a family of four girls and one boy.
Dolly was born in the baby boom that followed World War I. Her father ran a neighborhood grocery store in south Minneapolis during an era when grocery stores were within walking distance of every house. Shopping for groceries was by pedestrians using wagons and carts, in contrast to the present era where shopping is done by cars and vans at mega stores. As a teen, Dorothy often worked in her father’s store.
In school Dolly skipped two grades because she was judged to be one of the brighter students. She also aced an aptitude test while in sixth grade and was placed in the top one of seven classes going into Sanford Junior High. She attended Epworth Methodist Episcopal Church, where she met her future husband Robert Ebel. After graduation, from high school, she became a cashier for Dayton’s department store.
On December 27, 1940, she married Robert Ebel. Almost immediately, her husband was called to service preparatory to World War II. During the war, she moved with her husband all over the country. When he served overseas, she worked part-time and spent two years studying home economics at the University of Minnesota.
After WWII, she was the breadwinner while her husband earned a doctorate degree at the University of Minnesota.
In 1949, Bob and Dolly moved to Oak Ridge. During her time in Oak Ridge, she devoted her life to raising her sons Jack and Jim, and to caring for others and to being of service to her community.
She worked as a volunteer in the Day Care Center in the Scarboro community, worked in her Circle at Grace Lutheran Church in Oak Ridge, and was a volunteer at the Methodist Medical Center gift shop.
Her special gift was always making others feel special. Whenever she met someone new, she smiled and was genuinely happy to meet them. At Grace Lutheran Church, she acquired a reputation for her spontaneous ability to greet strangers. When Dolly saw injustice in the world she acted with kind words, and a kind heart, and used these gifts to make a difference.
For 10 years, following her husband’s retirement, Dolly and Bob traveled together all over the world. They saw many cultures and studied their histories.
Dolly is survived by her sons, Jack Ebel and wife Penny of Lexington, Kentucky, Jim Ebel and wife Rose of Knoxville, eight grandchildren Megan Ebel and Taylor Ebel of Lexington, Kentucky, Christopher Ebel of Nashville, Mrs. Leah Gable of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, Emily Ebel of Claremont, New Hampshire, Crystal Ebel of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Benjamin and Jacob Ebel of Knoxville; and two sisters Mrs. Doris Brudevold of Maplewood, Minnesota, and Mrs. Gladys Sorensen of Bloomington, Minnesota.
All who knew her loved Dolly, and no truer words have ever been written.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Dolly’s memory be made to Grace Lutheran Church, 131 West Gettysburg Avenue, Oak Ridge, TN 37830.
The family received friends on Friday, March 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church. The funeral began at 11 a.m. with Pastor Stephen Damos officiating. Interment followed at Oak Ridge Memorial Park.
Weatherford Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements. An online guest book can be signed at www.weatherfordmortuary.com.