Francis Kay (Tafolla) Ballard, age 83, of Lawton passed away Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Francis was a proud Army Brat who was born at Ft. Sill and attended Lawton High School, class of 1955. She later attended Cameron College.
A natural “people person,” Francis was the Patient Advocate Liaison at Comanche County Memorial Hospital for many years. She also worked in the office of the Comanche County District Attorney. A patron of the arts and the smarts, Francis was active in the Lawton Community Theater Guild and was a member of the Bill Crawford Scholarship Committee. The group provided scholarships to worthy college theater students for many years. The group also commissioned the bronze statue of Crawford, Lawton’s popular theater and arts columnist, and actress/singer Candice Earley. The statue adorns Lawton’s Shepler Park. Francis also was a member of Army Daughters and a Gray Lady volunteer.
Francis was known for her beauty and quick wit, as well as for her deceptively genteel manner. She collected friends easily throughout her life because of those qualities. But that ladylike demeanor belied a wicked sense of humor. She could “say the ‘F’ word and make it sound like it came from the Bible,” said one friend. Whether one was a beloved friend or not, there was no vulnerability that Fran could not and would not exploit to the hilt, for the sake of comedy. And she would do so in such a way that even brought a smile to the “victim.”
Always civic-minded, Francis was proud to cast her Nov. 3 vote to prevent “that a**hole” from getting a second term. She was relieved and delighted with the results. She enjoyed the theater, from Lawton to Broadway, and loved musicals in particular. She was a voracious reader, and also enjoyed travel, music, films, antique-hunting, and collecting recipes. A rabid fan of the culinary arts, Francis appreciated good food down to her soul (talkin’ to you, John & Cook’s and Meers). She was an unabashed chocoholic. Hand to God, her last word was a loud and clear “CHOCOLATE!” Consequently, chocolate was her last culinary delight.
Francis was preceded in death by her parents Maj. (R) Jose “Joe” and Rhuie Tafolla; a sister, Barbara Bolling; a nephew, John William Bolling III. She is survived by her son, James Brent Ballard, of Idaho; daughter, Karol Lynn Ballard and her spouse Kathryn Mickaliger, of California; grandson, James Evan Ballard, of Norman; granddaughter, Brooke Lindsay Ballard, of Oklahoma City; granddaughter Zuzell Mayte Ballard, of Honduras; nieces, Lucile Kay Wyatt and Susan Kopacz, of Texas; niece, Kimberle Ann Allen, of Florida; nephew, James Michael Hodge, of Missouri; niece, Kris Hoyt, of Oklahoma; brother William Harold Tafolla, of Utah.
Because of COVID-19, Francis requested no service, no gathering. In lieu of flowers, wear a damn mask like a decent human being.
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