Great Barrington — George L. Ball Sr., 89, of Castle Hill Avenue, Great Barrington passed away on March 13, 2020 surrounded by his loving family.
George was born in New Haven, Conn., on April 15, 1930, the son of Burt J. Ball and Dorothy Hathaway Ball of Ashley Falls. George married his sweetheart Priscilla New on October 5, 1948 soon after meeting by chance at a school dance. George was a loving husband for 53 years until Priscilla departed for her eternal life on April 20, 2001.
He was known for his devotion to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. George was extremely proud of his family and always looked forward to every holiday for the family gatherings.
George often said, “Work is not work if you love what you’re doing.” For more than 60 years he was a valued employee of E.Caligari and Son in Great Barrington and Lenox. Over those years he developed client relationships who quickly became his friends for life. George’s salesmanship was legendary as was his story telling and his readiness with a joke. For years George was asked to be the Master of Ceremony for retirement parties, birthday parties — even stag parties.
George along with his brothers, Harry and Burt, played semi-pro baseball for teams in Connecticut and the Berkshires. Harry played shortstop while George was a slick fielding second baseman and a great left-handed hitter. The two brothers were widely known for their skills on the diamond. George was also known for his boxing skills inside the ring. In 1951 Tony Janerio, the second ranked middle weight boxer in the world, trained for his championship fight against Rocky Graziano in Sandisfield. George was called upon to train and spar with Janerio. According to people who watched the sparring sessions George held his own against the world-class boxer. In the late 1950s and early 1960s George and businessman Bill “Pebble” Caligari worked together with professional boxers throughout New England. Businessman Caligari was the sponsor and manager; George trained them for fights in Springfield, Providence, North Adams and Worcester.
An avid golfer with a great passion for the game, George was a long-time member of Greenock Country Club, a member of Wyantenuck Country Club and recently Canaan Country Club. His one and only regret playing golf for almost 70 years was never to get a hole-in-one, although he was close numerous times. George will always be remembered for his ever-present smile, his genuine respect for others and his absolute love of life.
George is survived by his son George Ball Jr., of Lee; daughter Deborah Graf (husband Eugene Graf) of New Marlborough; daughter Susan Patterson of Hancock; son Thomas Ball Sr. of Canaan, Conn.; daughter Lisa B. Dunn of Great Barrington and daughter Michelle Considine (husband John) of Canaan, Conn. George was blessed to have had 12 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren whom he treasured every day. George is also survived by his longtime companion Sandra Turner of Great Barrington.
Along with his wife Priscilla he was also predeceased by two older brothers Burt Ball and Harry Ball
SERVICES – Due to the current Executive Order issued by Gov. Baker that there be no gatherings larger than 25 people there will be no calling hours at this time. A public visitation will be held at a later date and time to be announced.
A private Mass celebrating George’s life will be held at St. Peter’s Church conducted by Rev. William P. Murphy. Burial will follow at St. Peter’s Cemetery. A video of the Mass will be available by the end of March via www.finnertyandstevens.com by logging on to George’s tribute page, and then clicking on Photos & Videos.
Donations in memory of George L. Ball Sr. may be made to HospiceCare in the Berkshires, Inc. through Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to his family please go to www.finnertyandstevens.com