SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Suerae (Fisk) Ballard, a longtime resident of Springfield, Vt., and a recent resident of Celebration, Fla., died peacefully on March 31, 2023, at the age of 84. Suerae was born to Thacher and Dorothy (Gammons) Fisk in Natick, Mass. on March 28, 1939, and had two brothers, Lloyd and Heath Fisk. She graduated from the Walnut Hill School of the Arts in 1957, and attended the University of Vermont, where she received a Bachelor of Education Degree in Home Economics in 1961. It was at UVM that Suerae met her husband, Jim. They married on Aug. 12, 1961, and settled in his hometown of Rutland, Vt. Suerae taught Home Economics at Wallingford High School, as well as adult education classes in Rutland. In 1968, Jim and Suerae established their business, Precision Valley Auto Sales, in Springfield, and moved their family there in 1970. In Springfield, Suerae was devoted to family and raising their four children, Susan-Rachel, Scott, Gregory, and Geofrey.
Suerae was a deeply compassionate and generous individual. She was a leader in both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and was a lifelong member of the Vermont and New Hampshire Girl Scout Council. She was an active member of the First Congregational Church UCC of Springfield, served on several community committees, and was trained as a hospice volunteer. She had an endless passion for helping others, was always the first to lend a helping hand, and touched many with her generosity.
Suerae was also fiercely determined. In 1998, at only 59 years old, Suerae suffered her first major stroke. Told that she might never walk the same, Suerae was a fighter, and not only relearned to walk, but set out to show her doctors that she could still rollerblade and waterski. She suffered two more significant strokes over the years, but never let that dampen her spirit. Her last stroke, in 2019, was especially devastating, in that it took away her ability to read, drive, and be independent. It was also the start of a battle with dementia.
Throughout her life, family was always what was most important to Suerae. She spent many summers at Kezar Lake in Lovell, Maine, and winters in Daytona Beach Shores, Fla. with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and extended family. Many days were spent swimming and boating on the lake, or enjoying the beach and ocean. Nights were spent playing games and sharing fun. Suerae loved to have the whole family together. There was always a spread of food, and it often included her favorite homemade blueberry pie for dessert. Suerae also loved to travel with Jim. Together, often with friends, they would drive the back roads of New England, or set out to explore the country. She had a radiant energy, was extremely personable, and made new friends wherever she went. She made everyone she encountered feel loved, cared for, and valued.
Suerae is survived by her husband James (Jim) Ballard, her children Susan-Rachel Hebert (Ken) of Kissimmee, Fla.; Scott Ballard (Shelly) of Springfield, Vt. and Largo, Fla., Geofrey Ballard of Springfield, Vt., eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Lloyd Fisk (Holly), sister-in-law Nancy Fisk, daughters-in-law Sue Ballard and Ricci Parkman, and many other cherished family members. She was predeceased by her parents, her brother Heath, and her beloved son Gregory.
The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at Springfield Hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the Rehabilitation Center at Mt. Ascutney, the Advent Health Hospital system in Florida, Advent Health Hospice Care of Central Florida, and Windsor at Celebration Assisted Living and Memory Care. We are also extremely grateful for the many, many friends and neighbors who helped and supported Suerae over the years.
Suerae’s life will be celebrated later in Springfield, with the help of Davis Memorial Chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kezar Lake Watershed Association. Donations in Suerae’s name can be sent to KLWA, PO Box 88, Lovell, ME 04051 or done online at www.kezarwatershed.org/donate.