Obituary for Wilson F. "Buzz" Ballister
On Wednesday, January 17th, Wilson “Buzz” Fredrick Ballister passed away after a long illness.
Wilson, known to everyone as Buzz, was born in Rome, NY on March 28, 1939 to parents, Charlotte Vivian (Stanger) and Fredrick Ballister. He grew up in Floyd, New York with his parents, two sisters and three brothers.
On January 20, 1962, Buzz married Carolyn Gail Kohli in St. Leo’s Church in Holland Patent. Gail was the love of his life. They were married 53 years until Gail’s passing on April 19, 2015. They had three sons, Robert Michael, Floyd, NY and twins, Daniel Wilson, Albany, NY and Dean Charles, Savannah, GA.
Buzz graduated from Holland Patent High School in 1958 and opened his first automotive repair shop a year later in Ridge Mills. After more than a decade of running garages and cultivating a stellar reputation in Rome, Buzz built and opened one of the area’s finest auto repair shops in his hometown in 1972. The combination of loyal customers, expansion into towing and used car sales, a fair and honest approach to business, and support from Gail, family members, and lifelong friends ensured a successful run of 57 years. During that time, he sponsored dozens of youth baseball teams, community events, and served as a mentor to many budding mechanics and car enthusiasts. In his spare time, Buzz enjoyed NASCAR, car auctions, cruising classic car shows with Gail, and dining out with his family.
Buzz is survived by his three sons; sisters, Mary Jones of Woodbridge, VA, and Judith Hoyte of Floyd, NY; a brother, Paul Ballister and his wife, Cindy (Wood) of Floyd, NY; and several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents and brothers Robert and Clifford.
His family extends their gratitude to the wonderful staff at Eastern Star Nursing Home and heartfelt thanks to his niece, Kim Smith, for providing Buzz with incredible care and compassion over the past few years.
A private funeral will be held at Barry Funeral Home on Saturday, January 20, 2018.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Floyd Volunteer Fire Department, 8367 Old Floyd Road, Rome, NY 13440, in Buzz’s memory.
Please offer online condolences at: www.BarryFuneralHome.com.