AVILLA – Meeting and talking with someone who is turning 100 is a rare opportunity, filled with wisdom, memories, happiness and inspiration.
On Sunday, June 2, June Grove Ballentine turned 100 years old. She has a warm smile and hearty laugh that fills the room. When asked what the secret to her longevity is, she said with a smile, “Work hard, eat well, and live a good life.” She added, “I feel good!”
She was born in Wauseon, Ohio. Her parents were farmers and she is the oldest daughter of fourteen children; seven girls and seven boys. She met her first husband, Carl Grove, in high school and they married when she was nineteen. He too grew up on a farm. They had a daughter and a son. Their son was born when her husband was fighting in World War II. Carl was severely injured about the same time their son was born. June decided to give him his dad’s name since she did not know if he was going to make it back from the war. Carl came back from the war with injuries, shot nine times, and June decided she needed to have a career to support them.
June went to school and got her nursing degree, RN, at Maumee Valley Hospital when she was in her thirties. She taught nursing for a while and then went back to school at the University of Toledo and got a degree in education and science. She taught seventh and eighth-grade science at Swanton, Ohio until she retired. She was married to Carl for 54 years. He was 75 when he passed.
She met her second husband, Frank Ballentine when she lived in a golfing community in Florida. She was an avid golfer, even got a hole in one, and met him on the course. During the week was open golfing but it was couples only on Saturdays. She wanted to golf on Saturdays so she had to find someone to couple up with. She met Frank who was also looking for someone to couple with to golf on Saturdays. She said she would never get married again, but married Frank when she was 81 years old; he was nine years younger than her. He had never been married before and worked for NASA. They were married for 13 years when Frank passed due to having cancer. After he passed she moved to Sacred Heart so that she was close to family. She has been there for about five years. She enjoys living at Sacred Heart and enjoys playing bingo, going on trips, having someone read to her, enjoying the nice weather and sitting in the sun, and bible study. She has always been involved with the Nazarene Church.
June’s mother lived to 102 years old. Four of her siblings, two brothers, and two sisters, are still living and June is the oldest. She has five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. The family that lives close by, stop in regularly to visit and her daughter who lives out of state keeps in touch by phone. June said that she is fortunate to have a family that takes such good care of her.