Karla J. (Marx) Ballard, 79, of Mount Joy and formerly of Landisville, passed away peacefully on October 8, 2020 at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, PA with her family by her side. For 58 years Karla was the loving and devoted wife of Robert A. Ballard, who predeceased her in 2016, and the loving mother of their four daughters.
Born in Bildstock, Germany, Karla was the daughter of the late Alois and Juliana (Lauk) Marx. She met her beloved husband Robert in Germany while he served in the United States Army. They married in 1958 and moved to the United States, where Karla learned to speak English and became a United States citizen. Karla enjoyed a long and successful career as a nursing professional who provided loving, compassionate and respectful care for the elderly. She retired from Brethren Village in Lititz, PA.
Karla was a member of Mary Mother of the Church, Mount Joy, PA, and previously attended St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Lancaster and St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, Lancaster. She was also a longtime member of the Lancaster Liederkranz.
Karla cherished her family, her Catholic faith, and her German culture, as well as gardening, dancing, and watching old movies. She also enjoyed many travel adventures with her husband Robert and their family. All who know Karla will never forget her insatiable energy, engaging and witty personality, and undying love and caring for them.
Karla was the loving and devoted mother to her four girls: Ellen Gentry Whitesell, wife of Charles Whitesell II, of Newville, PA; Diane Knight, wife of William Knight III, of Stafford, VA; Christa Nelson, wife of Christopher Nelson, of Chesapeake, VA; and Barbara Taylor, of Gap, PA. Karla was also blessed with five grandchildren: Jessica Gentry of Carlisle, PA; Vanessa Knight of Woodbridge, VA; Alexis Nelson of Virginia Beach, VA; and Zachary and Emily Taylor of Gap, PA. Karla is also survived by four sisters: Christa Reyes of San Bernadino, California, and three sisters in Germany: Rita Braun, Doris Wolsiffer and Ingrid Wolsiffer. Karla was predeceased by her sister Marlene Schmidt, brothers-in-law Joseph and John Ballard, Gunther Wolsiffer, Karl-Heinz Schmidt, Jack Braun, and Charlie Reyes, and son-in-law John Gentry.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Mary Mother of the Church Parish, 629 Union School Road, Mount Joy on Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11 AM. Family and friends will be received at the church before the service from 10 AM to 11 AM. Interment will follow at St. Joseph New Catholic Cemetery.
If desired, contributions in Karla’s memory may be sent to the American Heart Association (heart.org), the Glioblastoma Research Organization (gbmresearch.org) or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org).
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