Joseph Stanley Ballenger


Joseph Stanley Ballenger, age 84, passed away on February 2, 2024 at the McGraw Hospice Center, Jacksonville, FL.  Stan was born in Lakeland, FL to the late Donald and Mary Ballenger.

Stan was raised in Lakeland and graduated from Lakeland High School. After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on the USS F.D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) for one of his tours of duty. He spent his last tour of duty at the Anacostia Naval Photographic Center, Washington, D.C. There he met his wife to be, Zee. They dated for three months and were planning to have their wedding in her home town the following year when his Navy duty would be completed. Stan had other plans. He “convinced” Zee to marry him after three months saying they could save on taxes if they married before the end of the year. They were married at the Naval Anacostia Chapel on November 11, 1961 and were together 62 years.

After his five years Naval service ended in 1962, Stan and Zee moved to his home state of Florida. He went to work for Bryn-Alan Studios, a Tampa area photography business specializing in portrait photography, high school yearbook photos, clubs and sports. After training, he was transferred to Jacksonville to become manager of that local studio. Stan worked hard and developed new businesses for the company. He was promoted to vice president of the Southeast Division area. He truly loved his work and retired after 42 years with the company. In 1986, Stan and Zee moved from Jacksonville to Ponte Vedra Beach.

“Stan the tenor,” as many people referred to him, was blessed by God with a beautiful singing voice. He started singing at a young age and had been singing up until Alzheimer disease took away his memory. Stan sang with the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus for several years. He sang with several Church choirs over his lifetime and for 25 years sang in the choir at Christ Episcopal Church, Ponte Vedra Beach, where he and Zee were parishioners. He acted and sang in many plays and little theaters. Music played a major role in his life.

Stan enjoyed sports but had a love/hate relationship with his game of golf. In fact, if the lakes on the Sawgrass golf course were drained, many of his golf clubs would be scattered around where he threw them. He did enjoy playing tennis competitively on a team for a while, and for fun with friends and Zee.

Stan was a man of faith. He was a loyal friend. He loved people and was beloved by many for his happy smile, twinkling eyes and fantastic wit. He was a generous, compassionate man who will be fondly remembered by many friends and family.

Stan is survived by his loving wife, Zee; his beloved son, John; his sister, Wanda; his brothers, Freddie and David; and his brother-in-law, Warren Samuel and wife, Wren. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews and his cousin Spud with whom he used to hunt.

A Celebration of Life Service for Stan will be held on April 12, 2024 at 11 a.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, Ponte Vedra Beach with a reception to follow in the fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Christ Episcopal Church, Community Hospice and Palliative Care or the Alzheimer’s Association.

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