Elizabeth “Dare” Stikeleather Ballard, 74, of Statesville, N.C., passed away peacefully on August 9, 2021, at Serenity House of Mooresville.
Born in Statesville on February 3, 1947, Dare was the daughter of the late William Mack “Chal” Stikeleather Jr. and Martha Virginia Rufty Stikeleather. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Garry Lynn Ballard, and sister-in-law, Melissa Stikeleather.
Dare was a graduate of Statesville Senior High (1965) and Mitchell Community College (1966). After marrying Garry on August 6, 1972, she worked as an administrative assistant for various companies as Garry completed his degree and continued a career in higher education. Living in Statesville, Charlotte, Mooresville, Baton Rouge, La., Rock Hill, S.C., and Florence, S.C., gave Dare new opportunities to widen her circle of friends. She cherished these close friendships and loved to be on the go, blooming wherever she was planted. For many years she lived on Lake Norman, where she enjoyed entertaining her family, friends and neighbors, caring for her beloved animals, cooking delicious meals and playing beach music on the jukebox with nieces and nephews.
Dare was a member of Concord Presbyterian Church from childhood, and she found belonging and community with her church family there again in adulthood. She served faithfully as an Elder and choir member, as well as giving her time and creativity to the Homecoming, Bazaar and Mission Committees. She could often be found laughing and working the kitchen during a church meal or Vacation Bible School.
Those left to cherish Dare’s memory are her brother, Jim Stikeleather of Statesville; sisters Anita Murdock (Dennis) of Mooresville and Emily Baker (Bill) of Statesville; nieces and nephews, Ben Stikeleather (Betsy), Dennis Murdock (Jill), Dave Murdock (Melanie), Katie Collins (Parks) and Liz Setser (Thomas); and great-nieces and nephews Claudia and Carter Stikeleather, Eli and Liam Murdock, Baker, Lucy and Clara Collins, and Mack and Mary Setser. She is also survived by a very special and dear mother-in-law, Beulah “Sis” Swicegood of Statesville, and sister and brother-in-law Judy and Terry Cook of Little Washington, along with their children and grandchildren.
Dare was a woman of compassion and optimism. She was a loyal sister, aunt, wife and friend who lived with an open mind and a forgiving heart, quick to serve and slow to judge. She believed in the best of humanity and found comfort and companionship in all of creation. Her smile, hugs and generous spirit will live on in all who loved her.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Dare’s memory may be made to Concord Presbyterian Church, 3867 Taylorsville Highway, Statesville, NC 28625; Serenity House, 110 Centre Church Road, Mooresville, NC 28117; or Hospice and Palliative Care of Iredell County, 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625.
The family extends heartfelt appreciation to Dare’s loving caregivers at Serenity House and Hospice of Iredell County.
A celebration of life and witness to the Resurrection, will be held on a later date at Concord Presbyterian Church.
Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family.