I was saddened to learn of the sudden passing of my friend Don Ball last week. I don't know the cause of death, but he was not ill from COVID at the time his passing.
I became friends with Don via our mutual interest in early rail modeling railroading as we frequently met at traveling operating sessions. I enjoyed his company as we had much in common. It might be strange to say, but I liked to listen to the sound of his voice that combined a midwest and California patois.
In addition to model railroads, Don had many other interests. He was a true Renaissance man. He was current the president of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad Historical Society. He wrote on book on the history of the Billerica and Bedford Railroad. He also liked to tinker with machines. He had a restored steam car in his garage. He also dabbled in 3D printing and computer aided quilting.
Don and I also shared an interest in wargaming. In 2020 during the pandemic lockdown. Don participated in a Civil War play by email game that I developed. He helped set up the VASSAl implementation of the game so we could all play it better.
Don was also a member of the ACWRRHS. He, Becky and I spent a long weekend in the Memphis area driving around to see several civil war historical sites.
He is survived by his wife Becky, son, and step children and grandchildren. Here is a link to his official obit.