Joan Ballots, 80, Temple trustee, donor, fan

Posted: December 10, 2012

Joan Ballots, 80, a devoted Temple University trustee, alumna, donor, and basketball fan, died Thursday, Dec. 6, after a long illness in her home in New Canaan, Conn.

She had been a member of the Temple board of trustees since 1995.

"Joan Ballots was a tremendous advocate for Temple University, especially the Kornberg School of Dentistry and our men's and women's basketball programs," Patrick J. O'Connor, chairman of the trustees, said on the university website.

Acting university president Richard M. Englert said Mrs. Ballots "has been a fixture at the university for decades. Joan has always been concerned about our tremendous students and was never happier than when she was in their company."

In a 2005 interview, Mrs. Ballots said Temple had long been part of her family. Her grandfather, George Hessdoerfer, was a leather tannery operator who studied under Russell Conwell in the 1890s. Her father, Harry Hessdoerfer, attended Temple about 30 years later, before entering medical school.

As a Temple student, Mrs. Ballots participated on four varsity teams and the student government, the university said.

Her husband, John Ballots, played basketball for Temple and graduated from Temple dental school. Mr. Ballots died in 1989.

The Ballotses provided scholarships for dental students and were "generous in their financial support" of men's and women's basketball, the university said.

Mrs. Ballots taught physical education for 35 years at the middle school in New Canaan.

She is survived by eight second cousins.

A service will be noon Friday, Dec. 14, at the First Presbyterian Church in New Canaan. A memorial service will be planned early next year at Temple.


Contact staff writer Linda Loyd at 215-854-2831 or lloyd@phillynews.com.

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