Mary Lou Ballensky

Mary Lou Ballensky

1930 - 2022

SIGOURNEY-Mary Louise Bottorff Ballensky, age 92, of Sigourney, died Saturday, June 11, 2022, at the English Valley Care Center in North English.

Mary Lou was born April 29, 1930, in Hedrick, to Lon and Edith (Sturdevant) Bottorff.  She and her mother moved to Sigourney, where she graduated from Sigourney High School in 1947 and went on to college at Oberlin and then Drake University where she graduated in 1951 with a music degree.  Mary Lou married her high school sweetheart, John Irving Ballensky, on September 3, 1950 and he preceded her in death.  They first lived in Oskaloosa for about two years, then moved back to Sigourney and built a new home also buying the Corner Drug Store.

Mary Lou dedicated her life to music and taught piano lessons as well as accompanying many people on piano for 30 plus years.  She also was a steady force in the running of her husband’s business, the Corner Drug Store in Sigourney, until they sold it in 1998.  She was very active in the Sigourney United Methodist Church as well as P.E.O.  She was integral in helping start a bell choir at the Sigourney United Methodist Church.  She supported music in the Sigourney Public Schools and often accompanied students at music contests over many years.  She passed her love of music onto each one of her children.

Mary Lou was proud of each of her children and truly cherished her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  She loved to share photos of all of them with her friends in the Sigourney Health Care Center.

Survivors include her four children: Natalie (Terry) Dunn of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Katherine Ballensky of Sigourney, John Andrew (Kathleen) Ballensky of Old Town, Florida and Jill (Curtis) Sande of Powell, Wyoming; eight grandchildren: Eric Dunn, Erin Dunn-Hogan, Colin Dunn, Jacob Allee, Ezra Allee, Kristine Ballensky-Swanepoel, Emily Sande-Utterback and Samantha Sande; nine great grandchildren and one sister: Elizabeth Summy of Naples, Florida.  She was preceded in death by her parents; husband: John Irving Ballensky and a half sister: Karen Bottorff.

Memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 1,  at Sigourney United Methodist Church.  Burial was at Pennington Cemetery in rural Sigourney.  There will be no visitation.

A memorial fund has been established for the Sigourney High School Music Department.  Powell Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Sigourney is caring for Mary Lou and her family.  Tributes may be made at   




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