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Gone but not forgotten

 O gentle bees, I have come to say

That grandfather fell to sleep to-day.
And we know by the smile on grandfather’s face.
He has found his dear one’s biding place.
So, bees, sing soft, and, bees, sing low.
As over the honey-fields you sweep,—
To the trees a-bloom and the flowers a-blow
Sing of grandfather fast asleep;
And ever beneath these orchard trees
Find cheer and shelter, gentle bees.

~Eugene Field from “Telling the Bees”

Lannie Davis Ballard, 84, left this worldly earth for a happier place on October 12, 2023.  He will be missed.

After moving to Rockbridge County nearly thirty years ago, Lannie decided to take up beekeeping which had always been a passion of his.  He became an expert at beekeeping and served as the Virginia State Beekeepers Association Legislative Liaison for the past twenty years and served as the Second Vice President for a while.  In 2006 he was awarded the L.L. Langstroth Award by the Virginia State Beekeepers Association for his contributions to beekeeping.  During Lannie’s tenure as the Legislative Liaison such accomplishments as the Beehive Grant (later Beehive Distribution Program) as well as recognition of the VSBA 100th anniversary and Honey bee arrival in Jamestown 400th anniversary were adopted by the General Assembly. His latest projects were the designation of the honey bee as the state pollinator and a historical marker regarding the shipment of honey bees to Jamestown in 1622. 

He served as President of the Shenandoah Valley Beekeepers Association, and his work with them  stands out regarding his beekeeping activities. He also taught beekeeping classes through the local community college, and his pickles were a much-anticipated part of the VSBA lunches at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave. 

A celebration of Lannie’s life will be held at Faith Baptist Church, 15 Faith Baptist Circle, Natural Bridge Station, VA 24579, on Saturday, October 28th at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Terry Bostic officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to ConnectionsPlus Healthcare and Hospice, 315 Myers Street, Lexington, VA, 24450; Faith Baptist Church, 15 Faith Baptist Circle, Natural Bridge Station, VA, 24579; or Manly Memorial Baptist Church, 202 South Main Street, Lexington, VA 24450.

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