Jason Ray Ball, 48; and his son, Bronson Michael Ball, 21, tragically lost their lives on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in a workplace accident near the Main Street Blue River bridge in Columbia City. They were part of the team constructing the city’s sewer, stormwater separation project.
Jason was born on Nov. 21, 1971, in Columbia City, a son of John G. and Cathy E. (Oliver) Ball. Bronson was born Sept.15, 1998, in Fort Wayne, a son of Jason and Shannon L. (Davis) Ball. Both father and son grew up in rural Columbia City and attended Columbia City High School, with Bronson graduating from Eagle Tech Academy in 2018.
Jason married the love of his life, Shannon, in February 1998. They had three beautiful children: Bryce, Bronson, and Brooke.
Jason had worked in the excavating business for his entire work career with the past six years for Crosby Excavating. Bronson joined the company about two years ago and worked alongside his father.
With their competitive spirit, the pair was obsessed with physical fitness, lifting weights, healthy living, and outdoing each other. During high school, Bronson earned many football records that stand to this day even though he sat out the last two seasons from a knee injury. The same knee injury prevented him from pursuing his goal of becoming a Navy Seal.
Jason enjoyed hunting and fishing or riding in his side-by-side. He was kind, funny, and had a loving spirit, always helping family and friends, especially with their auto repairs. Jason was known to be a photobomber, as he showed up wherever the camera was pointed. Passing those kind traits on to his son, Bronson befriended his 10-year-old cousin Reece, mentoring him through difficult times and sharing his interest in riding four-wheelers. Bronson also enjoyed shooting sports, becoming very proficient with a handgun. Although outwardly shy, once you got to know him, he became the rapid talking, motivational speaker.
Both are dearly missed by their surviving family: wife and mother, Shannon; son and brother: Bryce Ball; daughter and sister: Brooke Ball, all of Columbia City; father/grandfather: John G. Ball, Fort Wayne; mother/grandmother: Cathy E. Ball, Cincinnati, Ohio; father-in-law/grandfather: John S. Davis, Fort Wayne; step-grandmother: Mary Davis, Fort Wayne; mother-in-law and grandparents: Linda and Thomas Denney, Albany; brother/uncle: Caleb Ball; brother-in-law/uncle: Darren (Joni) Davis; sister-in-law/aunt: Michelle (Jeffrey) Barton; sister-in-law/aunt: Tamara (Obie) Hickenbottom; and sister-in-law/aunt: Penny (Phillip) Valjack, all of Columbia City; and several close and loved cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. Visitation will be from 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, until the service. As space is limited, the service will be live-streamed on Smith & Sons Funeral Home’s Facebook page.
Preferred memorials are to the family.