Laura Ilona Ballard

Laura Ilona Ballard, Maple Valley, Wash., passed away from cancer on May 25 at the University of Washington Hospital at the age of 49 with her family and friends at her side. Laura was born in Red Lodge on Aug. 26, 1963. In 1964 her family moved to Redwood City, Calif., and then later to Sunnyvale, Calif., where she attended grade school. In 1974 Laura and her family moved to Hogeland, Mont. Laura graduated from Turner High School in 1981.

After High School she attended Northern Montana College where she got an Associate of Science Degree in computer technology and then went on to Bozeman and got a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. In Bozeman she met Bob Ballard and they were married on July 16, 1988 in Kent, Wash. Laura worked as a Software Engineer for Telecalc and later for Verizon Wireless. In the early 90s Laura was diagnosed with MS and soon had to quit work.

She was very talented with crafts. She made cards, did many cross-stitched products and loved to sew and quilt. Laura had endless friends. She made friends easily and loved to spend time with all of them. For the past several years she had done volunteer work for the Black Diamond Gun Club in Black Diamond, Wash., where she was the newsletter editor, treasurer and Webmaster. Laura faced all of her challenges in life with fierce determination and still kept her sense of humor and her smile.

Laura is survived by her husband Robert, a daughter Marlana of Enumclaw, Wash., and a son, Cody of Maple Valley, Wash., a granddaughter, Madison of Enumclaw, her parents Dennis and Ilona McGuire of Hogeland, and her brother Frank (Sheryl) of Hogeland. Laura was buried at Silverbow Cemetery in Hogeland on Monday June 3, at 2 p.m.