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Donald Guy Ball

Date of Death: October 18, 2011

Date of Birth: July 2, 1912


Brunswick-Donald Guy Ball, 99, of Willow Grove, Brunswick, and South Bristol died peacefully October 18, 2011 at home in Brunswick.   He was born July 2, 1912, in Arlington, Mass., son of Walter Guy Ball, a stained glass designer and Mabel Frothingham Ball, a librarian.

He graduated in 1938 with a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University.  After graduation he became an expert on building on frozen soils (permafrost) while working on the construction of military bases in Alaska and Greenland for the Corps of Engineers, and in northern Canada on the construction of the Distant Early Warning (DEW line) facilities.  He also did some similar work in Iceland, and he spent two Antarctic summers doing investigative work at a station in the Antarctic, where a stream now bears his name.

Metcalf and Eddy were part of a joint venture, negotiated by the U.S. government with Generalisimo Franco, to build military bases in Spain, and Donald and his family spent three years living in Madrid.  In 1956 the family moved back to the Boston area where Donald worked principally on the design of the foundations for the Prudential Center.  Later he was sent by M&E to Saudi Arabia and Iran.  He was also involved in short-term projects in Hawaii, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and in the rain forest of British Guyana.  At age 61 he left Metcalf and Eddy and went to work for Bechtel doing supervisory work on the construction of the Alaska pipeline.

After retirement Donald and Theodora moved to Topsham and then to Brunswick, where he continued to do some consulting work, and also enjoyed acting as a volunteer guide at the Bowdoin College Peary-Macmillan Arctic Museum.

Donald was predeceased by his wife, Theodora, and his brother Sydney.  He is survived by a daughter, Sally Tso of Brookline, Mass., a son, Duncan Ball of Sydney, Australia, a son, Gregory Ball of Brunswick, a nephew, Bradley Ball of Tamworth New Hampshire, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

There will be an informal memorial gathering of family and friends next summer in South Bristol.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to CHANS Home Health Care & Hospice Service, 60 Baribeau Drive, Brunswick 04011.

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