George and Dorothea Ballard came to Middletown in 1949. George had worked for many years as a Funeral Director at Stanley Mortuary and V.T.Davis Funeral Home in New Castle. Dorothea had been director of Nursing Services at Henry County Hospital.
They purchased the Ralph Niblock Funeral Home on Columbia Avenue in Middletown. They soon moved into a partnership with Raymond C. Shirey and purchased the Forrest Fisher Funeral home at 118 South 5th in 1951. This had also been known as the Davis St. John Mortuary.
Mr. Shirey had been in business for many years in Daleville working with his father-in-law, Wilbur Polhemus at the Polhemus and Shirey Mortuary at 8212 South Walnut Street. The partnership prospered and in 1972, George and Dorothea purchased the assets of Mr. Shirey shortly before his death.
In 1985, the name was changed to Ballard and Sons Funeral Homes with the inclusion of both sons entering the business; Jon in 1977 and Marty in 1980.
To this day, the Ballard's have maintained the local tradition of funeral service in the area with clean and updated facilities and a caring desire to assist families. Both sons' give much credit for their high standard of care they demand in the profession to their parents who created a ministry of personal care by reaching out to the community, the way the community had reached out to them.