Ernest Earl Ballinger Jr, 98 of Sanford passed away Saturday August 13, 2022, with his children by his side. Graveside services will be held at 1:00 pm Thursday at New Garden Friends Cemetery in Greensboro.
Mr. Ballinger was born in Guilford Co, son of the late Ernest Earl Ballinger Sr and Alma Roseman Sides Ballinger. He was preceded in death by his wife, Estelle Highfill Ballinger, two grandsons, Brian Ballinger and Stuart Beisler and his sister, Bettie Lou O’Bryant.
Mr. Ballinger was a member of St Luke United Methodist Church since 1960 serving in many capacities including Usher, Board of Trustees, Methodist Men and Missions Committee. He was a Veteran of the US Army Air Corps serving during WWII. On Oct 11, 2019, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor by the French Consul General. He was a radio operator on C-47s with a Pathfinders Group. On D-Day, he was in the first wave, dropping paratroopers onto French soil. He participated in airdrops in the Netherlands, Battle of the Bulge and across the Rhine dropping troops and supplies and bringing the wounded back to safety. Mr. Ballinger also served with the 439th Troop Carrier Group. He was a life member of the American Legion and the VFW, a member of the Sanford Lions Club and was the first Fire Chief in Goldston.
Mr. Ballinger is survived by his children, Carolyn A. Beisler of Sanford, Robert Kenneth “Bobby” Ballinger (Teresa) of N. Myrtle Beach, SC, and Virginia Rose “Ginger” Boyce (Mickey) of Sanford; four grandchildren, Brandon Jason Ballinger, Eric Beisler (Jennifer), Jamie Williams, and Kim Williams Evans (Chad); many nieces and nephews; his furry companion cat, Nalani (The Diva).
The family would like to thank Amedisys Hospice of Garner for their caring assistance.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Mary Tulloch Fund at St Luke United Methodist Church, 2916 Wicker St, Sanford, NC 27330 or to The Breadbasket, PO Box 912, Sanford, NC.