Jeff Ball The Yardener Obituary

Question From: MICHIGAN
Q: Hi Nancy, I'm writing for my mother who is a long-time reader of you and you and Jeff -- enough that she consider you two her friends. My mother never read Jeff's obituary and my search on the internet came up short of something meaningful to my mother. We don't know the proper boundaries in this situation and we apologize for this intrusion but is there any available information that you might have available to share or direct me to. Respectfully, Tom Ford, Stockbridge, MI


Tom, Thank you for taking the time to inquire about Jeff's obid for your Mom. Below is an article I wrote about him shortly after his death. The following article is the obid that ran in one of our local newspapers. Needless to say I miss him terribly. Please give your Mom my best and thank her for caring. Nancy

It is with great sadness I announce the passing of my beloved partner, The Yardener, Jeff Ball on November 11th following a seven-year battle with cancer. I know many of you readers remember Jeff's Yardening column published in Homestyle for several years. He also wrote a monthly Tools and Techniques column in The Michigan Gardener. Jeff developed his passion for gardening into a career that made him a nationally known gardening guru and included the publishing of several books, a cable television series, garden videos and an eight year run as the gardening guy on NBC's Today Show. Years ago Jeff coined the name Yardener to describe homeowners who want to care for their lawn and yard to keep it looking good, but do not think if themselves as gardeners. He published a book entitled Yardening and went on to combine his passion for gardening and the new technology of computers to create his website, that today garners over a million hits a year from around the world folks looking for help caring for their grounds. Jeff's website,, provides information on plant care, along with the best products and tools to do the job. A monthly newsletter gives seasonal advice as to the best time to get the work done. I met Jeff at a Garden Writers Association meeting in Toronto a decade ago and convinced him to leave the Philadelphia area for a life in the countryside of Michigan. A huge sports fan, Jeff embraced all the Michigan teams, but the Tigers were stole his heart and Brandon Inge was his main man. Jeff considered to be his legacy and his son, Edward (Ted) Ball of Kansas City, partner John Davis of San Francisco, and I, thanks to wonder of computers, will continue to update and develop it. Thanks to the loving care of hospice, Jeff spent the last six weeks of his life at home enjoying the change of the seasons. From his hospital bed he could look out the window of his room and view my wild flower meadow a stunner when encrusted with the diamond dust of a hoar frost or glowing in the rich warm light of the autumn sun. Protected by the overhang of the roof, my pink climbing roses escaped the early frosts and continued to bloom and he reveled in their beauty and the fragrance given off by the cut blossoms on the table by his bed. In honor of Jeff Ball, I will be planting a cutting garden next spring to provide fresh bouquets to other hospice patients in need of Mother Nature's lovely color. Jeffrey Ball Died: Friday, November 11, 2011 Age: 72 Jeffrey Ball, age 72, of Attica, Michigan passed away Friday, November 11, 2011 after an extended illness at his home. Jeffrey Norman Ball was born on August 29, 1939 in Lynn, Massachusetts. He was a son of Edward and Violet Ball. He grew up in and around Vermont. Jeffrey earned his Masters Degree in Community Organization from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and studied at the University of Rochester (New York). He was an officer in the U.S. Navy during the Viet Nam War; and an Assistant Secretary of Welfare for the State of Pennsylvania. He had been employed by the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press as a writer /columnist for the Gardening Section of the Detroit News /Free Press. He was an author of 12 gardening books including Rodale's: Garden Problem Solver, Self Sufficient Suburban Gardener and The Sixty Minute Vegetable Garden. For eight years he served as the Gardening Guy on the Today Show on NBC making monthly appearances with Bryant Gumble, Katie Couric and Matt Lauer. Jeffrey also wrote Homesteading on a Quarter Acre of Land. Surviving are his partner and significant other, Nancy Szerlag of Attica; his son, Edward (Ted) Ball of Kansas City Missouri; a brother, David Ball of Vancouver, BC. His parents preceded him in death. The family would like to express their gratitude to the staff of Hometown Hospice for the loving care provided. There will be a memorial service in Philadelphia at a later date. Arrangements by Muir Brothers Funeral Home in Imlay City. For more information please visit our online guestbook at