Don’t Waste It

For the last four years, my kids have been attending golf camps in South Austin.  First, we started with just one swinging a club and last summer we had three on the greens.  Clare will join them next summer.  I have raved about this experience before, HERE and HERE.

My mom mentioned that she noticed a familiar name in the obituary section this weekend.  “No, it can’t be,” I thought.  Not our beloved coach JB.  It’s funny how you can see someone but not really know them.  It’s a shame we learn so much about people after they’re already gone.

As I think back, there were so many moments about JB that made me smile.  For starters, he had the best attitude out there.  No matter how hot or cold or rainy or windy, JB was happy to be there.  You could see how being around kids brought out the very best in him.  In fact, my JP thought that JB was the coolest thing since sliced bread.  Every day when they got home, I would hear a JB story.  He always played peek-a-boo with Luke.  He always praised my kids manners (guess golf camp DID bring out the best in them) and always had a pat on the shoulder for me.  “Have a great day,” he’d say.  And I knew he meant it.  While I am extraordinarly sad he won’t be at camp, I am extremely honored that God led him into our lives, if only for a short season.

Rest in peace, JB.

John Balli, 71, of Austin, Texas passed away on January 13, 2012. John was born in Mission, Texas to the late Gilbert and Pila Balli. John is survived by his wife, Tina. They were married 48 years; his daughter Sheryl and her husband Jeff Reeh of San Antonio; son Brian and his wife Lisa of Austin. Grandchildren: Jeffrey and Colby Reeh and Lola and Levi Balli. He is survived by his brother Dr. Larry Balli and his wife Norma of Edinburg, TX. John actively gave back to the community by volunteering with many organizations. He coached many children including his own where he co-founded the Town & Country Optimist club. In his later years he volunteered at the Manchaca Optimist Youth Sports Center where he coached his grandsons in baseball. John enjoyed teaching the game of golf to children through the junior golf programs of the South Texas PGA. John also enjoyed working the youth golf camps at The Onion Creek Golf Club. John volunteered at The Ronald McDonald House weekly for several years. John loved life and people. A visitation will be held Thursday, January 19, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. with a Rosary at 7:00 p.m. at Harrell Funeral Home in Kyle, Texas. Mass will be held Friday, January 20, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. at Santa Cruz Catholic Church in Buda, Texas. Burial will follow at Onion Creek Memorial Park in Manchaca, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family is respectfully requesting a donation for those youngsters that would like to play baseball but can’t afford the cost. Please send your donations to: John Balli Memorial Scholarship Fund, Manchaca Optimist Youth Sports Complex, P.O. Box 444, Manchaca, TX 78652.

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