Ben was born May 8, 1929 in Liberty Township, the sixth of ten children born to Daniel and Janie (Gadd) Ballinger.
He joined the United States Air Force and served as Medical Corpsman. He was honorably discharged as a Sergeant after three years.
Ben joined the Hamilton Police Department as a Patrol Officer in 1954. He also served as a radio operator and crime prevention officer. Patrolman Ballinger completed the Kent State Crime Prevention School, a Hocking Valley Tech’s Crime Prevention Instructor’s course, and the National Crime Prevention Institute course at the University of Louisville. He was so good at teaching citizens how to burglar-proof their homes, that he was said to be one of the best burglars in Hamilton, able to get into any average home within three minutes. Officer Ballinger retired in 1981 with 30 years of service to his country and community.
Officer Ballinger also served as a little league coach, soccer coach, and Boy Scouts leader.
Officer Ballinger died on November 19, 2022 at the age of 93. Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit ordered a seven-day period of mourning beginning December 2, 2022.
He was predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Geraldine Ann (Fischer) Ballinger; three sons, Ben Ballinger II, Gregory Ballinger, and Jeffrey Ballinger; and nine siblings. Officer Ballinger is survived by his remaining children, Christina (Eric) Hawley, Deborah (Larry) Shelley, Michelle Ballinger, Rev. Thomas (Sandra) Ballinger, and Theresa (John) Lenhoff; daughter-in-law, Mari Beth Ballinger; 21 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Father Larry Tharp and Deacon Thomas Ballinger at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, December 5, 2022 at the Sacred Heart Church at 400 Niles Road in Fairfield. Burial will follow at Rose Hill Burial Park at 2421 Princeton Road in Hamilton.
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