Cover photo for Richard Lee Ball's Obituary
Richard Lee Ball Profile Photo
1939 Richard 2021

Richard Lee Ball

November 6, 1939 — February 16, 2021

After a life anyone would be proud to have lived, Richard L. Ball, beloved husband, father, Papa and great grandfather went to his reward Tuesday evening, February 16th.

Richard L. Ball was a lifetime resident of Palo Pinto County, having been born and raised in the small community of Gordon, Texas. He graduated from Gordon High School in 1957. In 1959 at the age of 19 he went to work as a route drivers’ helper for Wes-Tex Vending when the company was 6 years old. Realizing his potential and trustworthiness, he was soon promoted to route driver, then route supervisor and eventually he worked his way up the ranks to Vice President and General Manager. Jack Pratt reminisced that Richard was a hard-working young man with a strong work ethic. “I saw in him what I saw in myself,” he said, “a budding entrepreneur with enthusiasm. Richard was loyal and honest. He ran every business we gave him as if it was his own, this includes Wes-Tex, our 3 shopping centers and a hotel.”

Memorial Service and Celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2021 with Clarence Holliman officiating, assisted by Craig Peters and Jackie Qualls at Southside Church of Christ at 2:00pm. Visitation with the family will be Friday, February 26th from 5:00-7:00pm in the annex at Baum-Carlock Bumgardener Funeral Home in Mineral Wells, TX. Due to present COVID recommendations, please be prepared to wear a mask.

Richard and his wife Connie purchased Wes-Tex in 1988. Under the Ball’s leadership what had once been a small company became a major force in the vending industry. Recognized industry-wide as a leader, Richard served 25 years on the Texas Merchandise Vending Association’s Board of Directors, including 3 terms as President. He also served 6 years on the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s Board of Directors.

In 1982, Richard founded Twin City Coffee Service in Bryan-College Station, Texas to complement Wes-Tex Vending and built it into the largest coffee provider in the area. He also formed a partnership with 5 others in 1982 to purchase the Parker Plaza Shopping Center in Weatherford, Texas. In 2001 Richard and Connie bought out their partners and became sole owners of that landmarked property on Route 180- Mineral Wells Highway.

Richard has always been very active and well respected in the Mineral Wells community. He was elected to the Palo Pinto General Hospital Board of Directors and was President of the Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce. Former Mineral Wells City Manager Lance Howerton remarked that “Richard was a good honest man. He did much for people in our community and the community itself that no one knows of. Richard never wanted credit or any glory.”

On his passing he was serving as President of both the Mineral Wells Industrial Foundation and the Palo Pinto General Hospital Foundation as well as being the Chairman of the Mineral Wells Planning and Zoning Commission. Industrial recruiter Steve Butcher offered that “Richard wanted on the Industrial Foundation. He wanted to serve his community and see it grow. The board elected him because they saw his desire and ability.”

In 2009, his good friend Governor Rick Perry appointed Richard to the Brazos River Authority Board of Directors, a 6-year term where he was also the Chairman of the Administration and Audit Committees. Reappointed by Governor Abbott, he recently completed his second 6-year term shortly before passing away.

Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce presented Richard with the Willie Casper, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award on September 20, 2019. On December 31, 2009 Richard was named the Mineral Wells Index Man of the Year, also honoring him for his lifetime of service to the community.

His children and their children were inspired by his life of service to his community and his fierce love for his Lord. Richard often said that of all the things he’s done his greatest accomplishment is that all of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, love the Lord.

Everyone who truly knew Richard knew of his love for vintage cars. He and Connie drove “Baby” (his 1940 Ford Coupe) to numerous Car shows throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado winning many trophies and awards. One of his other loves (besides his wife Connie) was taking their motor home across country. They enjoyed many trips around the United States from the west to the east. They spent almost every summer in Colorado visiting Connie’s family and supporting the Summit County Church of Christ.

Richard leaves behind to mourn his passing his wife of 40 years, Connie Ball, who was the love of his life and his “Sunshine”. Children, Tonja Trammell and husband Jimmy; Terri Smith and husband Glen; Tim Hopkins and wife Amy; Son-in-Law Donnie Watkins and wife Sue; Grandchildren Channing Caskey and husband Robert; Tacy Self and husband Jared; Colton Watkins and wife Rebekah; Heather Kelley and husband Kyle; Lyndi Jo Trammell and fiancé Andrew; Morgan Murphy; Kristy Trammell; Graeme Hopkins; Adelaide Hopkins; Cal Smith and fiancé Miranda; Cole Smith and wife Bailey; Samantha Smith, Shelby Smith and 9 great-grandchildren; Sister Ailene Chisholm; Sisters-in-Law Dede Brewer, husband Andy, and Vicki Meyer.  Numerous nieces and nephews, close friend and mentor Jack Pratt, best friend and brother in Christ Clarence Holliman, and far too many loving friends to list. Richard was preceded in death by his daughter LeAnn Watkins, his parents Ira and Alma Ball, and his brothers Bill, Jerry and Jim Ball; Father-in-Law and Mother-in-Law Dean and Claire Leeper.

At his request and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Southside Church of Christ "Opportunity Camp for Kids" Fund, 1401 SE 25th Ave., Mineral Wells, TX 76067 or the Rotary Club of Mineral Wells, P.O. Box 1151, Mineral Wells, TX 76068, you can also donate at the following link http://bit.ly/richardballmemorial.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Lee Ball, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, February 26, 2021

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Baum-Carlock-Bumgardner Funeral Home

302 West Hubbard Street, Mineral Wells, TX 76067

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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