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Lee Pedersen Ballard

August 19, 1925 ~ August 17, 2022 (age 96)
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Lee Pedersen Ballard (born Calogera Gallo), beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother passed away peacefully at home with family by her side in North Branford, CT on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, two days shy of her 97th birthday.  Lee was born August 19, 1925, to Calogero and Carmella Gallo in New York, NY, where she grew up with her four siblings Alfonso, Mary, Angelo and Joseph. She was a proud graduate of Washington Irving High School.  A die-hard New Yorker until the end, she often spoke fondly of her days growing up on “the streets of New York.”

Lee worked in many occupations throughout her life, including as a beauty and fashion consultant, running the family business with her beloved husband Pete, and later in real estate in their Florida retirement community. But Lee’s main focus and passion was always her family.  She began her life as a wife and mother in the Bronx, NY, with her first husband, Nicholas Marino. She later relocated her family to Huntington, NY, where she met the love of her life, the late Alfred “Pete” Pedersen.  Upon marrying in 1963, they blended their families and created a loving home for their five children. Lee was the quintessential mom and "Hostess with the Mostest.” She will always be remembered for her unconditional love and care for her family, her sense of humor and famous “mommy jokes,” throwing epic backyard parties, creating perfect holiday and birthday celebrations, and always being present and ready to offer her advice, guidance, wisdom and love. A true matriarch, she was at her happiest at large fun-filled and often boisterous family gatherings, marveling that “I made all of this.” 

Throughout her life, Lee enjoyed dancing, bowling, watching classic movies, reading, playing cards, doing crossword puzzles, and cooking (especially her famous “macaroni and meatballs!”). She had a tremendous sense of style, never not dressed to the nines and always keeping a beautiful home.

After the passing of her beloved husband, Pete, she was lucky enough to meet Wendell Ballard, her companion and best friend later in life. They married and resided in Fort Meyers, FL until finding their way back up north to live closer to family, settling in Southington, CT.  Upon Wendell’s passing, she moved to North Branford, CT to reside with her oldest son, Joseph, and his wife, Gloria.

Lee will be missed dearly by all who knew her and her legacy will live on through her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren (who affectionately knew her as Gigi).  She lived her life with love, humor, strength, courage, grace and class. All should take to heart some of her last words of advice, which were to treat each other with love and respect and always be gentle and kind.

Lee is survived by her five children: Roseann Sanders of Northport, NY, Joseph Marino and wife, Gloria of North Branford, CT, Nicholas Marino and wife, Emilia of the Woodlands, TX, Kathleen Duignan and husband, David of Oceanside, NY, and Paula O’Brien and husband, Sean of Farmington, CT; ten grandchildren: Dawn Brendel, Bruce Sanders and wife, Lisa, Jennifer Calvo and husband, Steven, Michael Marino and wife, Nina, Matthew Marino and wife, Amy, Daniel Marino and wife, Erika, Kerry George and husband, Ben, Kaitlin Carroll and husband, Thomas, Liam O’Brien and Aidan O’Brien; and 15 great grandchildren: Tyler, Jacob and Jordan Sanders, Allison, Taylor and Samantha Calvo, Mason and Logan Marino, Luca and Ava Marino, Marco and Martin Marino, Lucas and Peter George, and Patricia Carroll.

Lee was predeceased by her aforementioned beloved husbands, parents and siblings as well as her beloved son-in-law, Mark Sanders.

The funeral service will be held at 10:00 am at Christ Church, 1351 Northern Blvd, Manhasset, NY on Saturday, August 27, 2022. Burial will immediately follow at Nassau Knolls Cemetery, 500 Port Washington Blvd, Port Washington, NY.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Lee Ballard can be made by mail to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or on-line at StJude.org. 

For online condolences, please visit wecare@keenanfuneralhome.com

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Services

Funeral Mass
Saturday
August 27, 2022

10:00 AM
Christ Church (New York)
1351 Northern Blvd
Manhasset, NY 11030

Mass of Christian Burial
Saturday
August 27, 2022

11:30 AM
Nassau Knolls Cemetery, Port Washington, Washington Blvd, NY

Donations

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Tel: 1-800-805-5856
Web: http://www.stjude.org/

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