Community leader remembered at Easter Sunday service

Sarasota, Florida -- An Easter Sunday service included more than the usual celebration; it remembered a special woman in the community.

"To know her was to love her," said Sarasota's Truvine Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Gregory Harris. "She was outgoing. She was kind of a workaholic. She worked endlessly at the church and throughout this community."

62-year-old Eleanor Ball, known as Ms. Ball to everyone in her community, was killed Saturday morning at 3:30 a.m. when 24-year-old Jakeilah Weeks crashed her car into Ms. Ball's bedroom while she was sleeping.

"Ms. Ball will be greatly missed here in the church and everywhere," said Pastor Harris. "She has been with the church since she was born. Her mother was here, too."

Ms. Ball worked closely with children, teaching them about healthy living. She was a nutritionist and worked at Sarasota's Memorial Hospital for 31 years. She held many leadership positions at the hospital and in her community. She championed health education and worked closely with other local organizations.

"I feel like we lost one leg of the stool with her gone," said Dr. Lisa Merritt with Sarasota's Multicultural Health Institute. "We worked together on so many projects to teach families about health habits and recruited women for free mammograms, and taught about HIV and diabetes."

Ms. Ball was also on the state and local board for the American Cancer Society and played active roles in the Relay For Life events.

She also taught piano lessons for the children in her neighborhood and played the organ at Truvine.

"She would have been there today sharing and giving and playing that organ like it was going out of style," said Pastor Harris. "We are saving that seat for her today."

Friends said Ms. Ball's home had been run into by cars a couple of times before and she talked to the city about fixing the problem.

They said the city did put a sign with arrows in front of her home to let drivers know there was a dead end there but they said that would not be enough. Neighbors also helped build a privacy fence for her.

Weeks crashed through that privacy fence and chain link fence before crashing into Ms. Balls' home.

Funeral services for Ms. Ball have not been arranged.

10 News will update this story when they become available.


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