Donald H. Ballou
MIDDLEBURY — Donald H. Ballou, a longtime resident of Middlebury, died on September 15, 2008, at the age of 100.
Dr. Ballou was born March 28, 1908, in Chester, Vt., the son of the Rev. Henry and Carrie (Hubbard) Ballou. He attended Chester High School and graduated from Phillips Andover Academy in 1924. He was a graduate of Yale University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa his junior year with a major in English. In his senior year at Yale, he was selected as part of the team representing Yale to participate in the first Putnam Competition. At the present time, the Putnam Competition is recognized as the premiere competition for undergraduates majoring in mathematics. He pursued graduate studies in mathematics at Harvard University, where he received the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. While at Harvard, he began his teaching career in mathematics as a teaching fellow. Upon receiving the Ph.D. degree in 1934, he accepted a position on the faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he taught for eight years. During that time, he wrote two textbooks in mathematics, with Frederick Steen, that were widely used for several decades.
In 1942, Dr. Ballou joined the faculty of Middlebury College. He became chairman of the mathematics department in 1954 and was named a Dana Professor in 1971. One of his contributions at Middlebury College was to initiate the development of a program in computer studies in the 1960s. In honor of his contributions to the computer curriculum at Middlebury College, the computer lab for the mathematics department has been named in his honor. He retired from the faculty of the college in 1973.
In retirement, he retained an active interest in college activities in general and math department functions in particular and for 30 years continued to attend on a regular basis the weekly mathematics seminar.
For 25 years, he served as the treasurer for the Friends of the Ilsley Library. Another of his interests was recycling, and for many years he was an active member of the Middlebury Recycling Committee. Around 1980, he began to collect pairs of homonyms (homophones), and he succeeded in identifying several hundred such pairs.
He traveled extensively during his retirement and his overseas trips included the Galapagos Islands, Egypt, India and Russia, among other places.
He was a member of the Middlebury Congregational Church for over 65 years.
He was married on September 14, 1933, to the late Dorothy (Pollard) Ballou, herself a graduate of Middlebury College. He is survived by a son, Donald Pollard Ballou, and his wife, Rhonda Ballou, of Delmar, New York; two grandchildren, Jeffrey P. Ballou, of Boston, Massachusetts, who is married to Lana Lee, and Lisa S. Ballou, also of Boston; and a great-grandson, Jaedon Lee Ballou.
There will be no public calling hours.
A memorial service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 20, 2008, at Mead Chapel on the campus of Middlebury College, with Rev. Laurie Jordan, college chaplain, officiating. Burial will be in Middlebury Cemetery.
Contributions in Don's memory may be made to Shard Villa, 117 Shard Villa Road, Salisbury, VT 05769; Elderly Services, 112 Exchange St., Middlebury, VT 05753; or to Middlebury College, c/o Brenda Currier, 5 Court St., Middlebury, VT 05753.
Arrangements are under the direction of Sanderson-Ducharme Funeral Home, 117 South Main St., Middlebury.
Online condolences may be made at www.sandersonfuneralservice.com.
Visit the guest book at rutlandherald.com/obits.