Nellie Dennis Minyard Ballard went to her heavenly home on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Nellie was born Oct. 8, 1925, to Jim and Sallie Dennis. She was a lifelong resident of Searcy who graduated salutatorian as a member of a class of eight from Garner High School in 1943. She attended Arthur’s Beauty School and owned her own shop briefly. As a member of West Race Baptist Church, she showed her love for the Lord and missed being able to attend in her later years.

In 1947, she married her childhood sweetheart, James Oscar Minyard Jr. To this union, two daughters were born. After Oscar’s passing in 1950, she met and married Robert Banks “Buck” Ballard in 1952 and had her only son.

Nellie was a homemaker who baby-sat for many years. Buck always told her, “You have kept half the kids in White County.” Nellie gave each child her special care as if they were her own. She loved her yardwork and kept her leaves raked. After Buck’s passing, Nellie said her yardwork was her therapy. As a great fan of “Wheel of Fortune,” she could solve all the puzzles. Her other favorite shows were “Days of Our Lives” and “The Price is Right.”

She was preceded in death by her parents, five brothers, three sisters and her husbands. Also preceding her in death were her daughter, Vickie Lynn Minyard Tucker, and son-in-law, Dale Tucker.

Left to cherish her memory are one daughter, Carnell Minyard Yarbrough (Gary), and one son, Roger B. Ballard (Patricia). Nellie had three grandchildren and one step-grandson and great-granddaughters who all lovingly called her Memomma. Granddaughter, Melisa Tucker Smock Clouette (Kyle); grandsons, Greg Yarbrough (David Jones) and Kevin Yarbrough (Jacquelyn); and great-granddaughters, Emily Smock, Lindsey Yarbrough and Anna Yarbrough, will miss their Memomma. Her step-grandson, Jared Smith (Hope), and step-great granddaughters, Savannah, McKenzie, Jaslynne and Felicity, loved their Memomma. Many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews loved to visit with their Aunt Nellie.

The family would like to thank her loving caregivers, Betty Patton, Samantha Farnworth and Kim Millsaps, who Nellie thought were a “part of her family.”

Due to COVID restrictions, a family graveside service will be held at Gum Springs Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Humane Society of Searcy.

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