RIP: Seventh Bishop of Albany David Standish Ball

[Diocese of Albany] The Rt. Rev. David Standish Ball, seventh bishop of the Diocese of Albany, passed away peacefully on the afternoon of April 18th, 2017.

Ball was born June 11, 1926, in Albany, New York. He attended The Milne School in Albany, where he was class president and a popular athlete. Ball served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and graduated from Colgate University in 1950. He attended the General Theological Seminary, graduating in 1953. He was ordained a deacon on June 14, 1953, and a priest on December 21, 1953, in Albany.

Ball began his ordained ministry as a curate at Bethesda Church in Saratoga Springs, New York, serving there until 1956, when he was made canon sacrist at the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany. He served three years as canon sacrist and two years as canon precentor and was then elected dean of the cathedral in 1960. He served the cathedral as dean for 23 years. During that time, he was filled with compassion for the increasing number of poor and homeless on the streets of Albany and was eventually elected as president of the Dudley Park Housing Authority, where he helped raise $5 million to develop a housing project in the Arbor Hill neighborhood of Albany, near the cathedral.

On October 10, 1983, he was elected bishop coadjutor of Albany. In February 1984, he was consecrated by Presiding Bishop John Maury Allin, Bishop David E. Richards, former suffragan of Albany, and the sixth bishop of Albany, Bishop Wilbur Emory Hogg. Upon Hogg’s retirement, in October 1984, Ball was installed as the seventh bishop of Albany at the Cathedral of All Saints. Soon after becoming bishop, he established the Step Out in Faith campaign, which raised several million dollars for the diocese. He was known for his support of hospitals, nursing homes, schools, St. Margaret’s Center for Children, in addition to the poor and the homeless. A frequent sight on Albany streets was to see a homeless or poor person stop him and ask for money. Without hesitation, he always gave something. He served as bishop of Albany until he reached the mandatory retirement age in 1998.

After his retirement, he was active in local charities. The Bishop Ball Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the Cathedral of All Saints, is named in his honor. The Doane Stuart School, on whose board he sat until mid-2008, named a trustee award for him. He continued to serve as bishop-in-residence at the Cathedral of All Saints until his death.

Ball’s life was dedicated to the service of God, and he served God willingly and humbly, with a heart for the needy and the marginalized in the community. He often said the secret to ministry was, “to say your prayers and love your people.” He will be sorely missed.

Calling hours for Ball will be on Friday, April 28 from 3 to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at The Cathedral of All Saints, 62 South Swan St, Albany NY 12210. Funeral services will be on Saturday, April 29th at 11 a.m. at the cathedral.

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