Jane Catlett Ballard, 88, formerly of Wyndmoor and Fort Washington, a community leader in the areas of music education and interracial relations, died Oct. 6 of heart ailments at Cathedral Village in Andorra.
A lover of classical and choral music, many of Mrs. Ballard’s civic activities reflected her belief in the power and importance of music in education and community. Her interests in the music world expanded to board roles at Jenkintown Music School and the New School of Music. She later was board president of the National Guild of Community School of the Arts and the Kardon Institute for Creative Arts Therapy.
She served on the board of the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission from 1971 to 1974 and became passionate about finding solutions to the problems of poverty and racism in Philadelphia and was impatient with the status quo.
Born in Hagerstown, Md., Mrs. Ballard grew up in Staunton and Richmond, Va.,where she attended St. Catherine’s School. She graduated from Vassar College in 1949 and lived for a time in New York City where she was as an assistant to the dean of students at Union Theological Seminary.
A lifelong piano player, she also played organ for the Church of the Redeemer in Sorrento, Maine, where she and her family spent their summers. She sang with musical groups at Vassar and at St. Thomas’ Church, Whitemarsh, the Berkshire Choral Festival and Germantown Academy in Fort Washington.
After moving to Cathedral Village, she founded a chorus of, in her words, “gently aged voices,” which now numbers 50.
At Cathedral Village, she served as an officer of the Residents’ Association and was a member of the 35th Anniversary Capital Campaign. She was also an enthusiastic and talented play reader who, at the time of her death, was looking forward to playing the role of the irascible Southern lady in “Driving Miss Daisy.”
She is survived by a daughter, Martha Barton Ballard, of Minneapolis, Minn.; a son, Francis Ballard Jr., of Larchmont, N.Y.; a brother, Richard H. Catlett Jr., of Richmond, Va.; and four grandchildren. Mrs. Ballard’s husband, Francis Ballard, a partner in the law firm of Ballard Spahr, died in 2014.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown, 6001 Germantown Ave. (at High Street) in Philadelphia. Memorial donations may be made to Cathedral Village, 600 E. Cathedral Rd., Philadelphia, PA 19128. – WF