Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Superior Court Judge John Thomas Ball J.D. ’58 passed from this life Nov. 10, 2015, in Reno, Nevada, from recent health complications at the age of 82. Born in San Jose, California, John spent his early years residing in the Santa Cruz Mountains before moving to Los Gatos, where he graduated from high school. John went on to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California Berkeley before enrolling in the University of Santa Clara where he obtained his Law Degree.
After practicing law for twenty-ight years in San Jose, John was appointed as a Municipal Court Judge for the County of Santa Clara serving three years before being elevated to the Superior Court of Santa Clara where he presided mainly in criminal cases for some twenty years.
Following his retirement and a move to Plumas County in 2001, John became part of the Assigned Judges Program traveling throughout Northern California for the past fourteen years hearing mainly felony criminal cases mainly in Lassen County. For the past four years Judge Ball has sat on the bench at High Desert Correctional Center as an Assigned Judge. Throughout his career on the bench Judge Ball has presided over one hundred homicide trials of which fifteen defendants were charged with the death penalty.
John became a member of Rotary in 1971 and was an active member of the of the Portola Rotary since moving to the Sierra’s. He enjoyed the outdoors through fishing and snowmobiling and will be remembered fondly by many for his quick wit and fun loving teasing. John is survived by his wife: Patsy Williams Ball of Portola, son; Stanton Ball of Santa Cruz, and grandsons; Colter and Josh. John is preceded in his passing by his daughter; Claudia. John will be greatly missed by many in his judicial life and especially by those in his personal life.