Jean Ballard

1927 - 2023

COOPERSTOWN – With deep sorrow, we announce the passing of Jean Ballard, a cherished member of the Cooperstown community, who died on November 17, 2023, in Burlington, Vermont, surrounded by her loving family. She was 96. All who knew Jean were touched by her quick humor, lively spirit, and enormous heart. 

She was born on June 2, 1927, in Duryea, Pennsylvania, to Rudolph and Anna (Kufta) Solarchik. After graduating from high school in 1945, Jean played a meaningful role during World War II, working in a silk mill that helped manufacture parachutes for American soldiers. It was there she met and fell in love with Joseph Bozosi, exchanging letters with him during the war while he was serving in the U.S. Navy. They married in 1948 in Cooperstown. Together, they worked at Sherry’s Tea Room and later co-established, operated, and managed the popular Otsego Diner for 15 years until Joseph’s passing. Jean devoted the next two decades to Bassett Hospital, contributing her skills as a phlebotomist in the hematology lab. She married Robert Ballard in 1981 and spent 19 happy years with him both in Cooperstown and in their condo in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Jean had been an active member of the Cooperstown St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church since 1947 and found great comfort in her faith. A unique aspect of Jean’s spiritual life was her special relationship with St. Anthony. Countless times, she sought his intercession and found solace in his assistance, especially when things were lost. St. Anthony became a guide in times of need, exemplifying the profound connection between faith and everyday life. She passed her connection with St. Anthony on to her family, many of whom turn to Jean’s most beloved saint when things go missing. She was also an active participant in the Cooperstown Criterion Club and Cooperstown Native Daughters. She enjoyed dancing the polka, walking on the beach while wintering in Florida, cross-country skiing, golfing, playing cards, and was an avid reader with a fondness for romance novels. Jean loved to laugh and tell stories and could often be found entertaining friends and greeting passersby from her back porch on Beaver Street. In her later years, Jean moved to Burlington, Vermont. There, she found comfort and support in the care of her family. Jean’s last chapter was marked by warmth and love.

Jean was predeceased by her first husband, Joseph Bozosi Sr.; second husband, Robert Ballard; parents, Rudolph and Anna (Kufta) Solarchik; sister, Dorothy Kashuda; brother-in-law, Joseph Wycallis; and special friend, Pete Cascio.

She is survived by her children, Joseph (Susan) Bozosi, Karen Bozosi (Douglas) Dailey, Stephen (Rhonda) Ballard, and Deborah Ballard; her brother Robert (Mary Winnie) Solarchik, sister Joan Wycallis, and brother-in-law Vince Kashuda; her loving grandchildren, Kenneth (Sarah) Phillips, Jonti (Tom) Rodi, Jacob (Diana Marinovic) Roesch, Benjamin (Shannon) Roesch, Sean (Michele) Dailey, James (Nancy Galante) Dailey, and Daniel (Annie Barker) Dailey; her great-grandchildren, Grace and Laura Phillips; Lucas, Oliver, Ellis, and Evelyn Rodi;
Felix and Leo Roesch; and Grayson and Finnegan Dailey; and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

For the excellent care Jean has received, the family wishes to thank Gazebo Senior Living, Birchwood Terrace Memory Care, Bayada Hospice, and special thanks to Dr. Karen Sokol.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 1, 2024, at St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church, 31 Elm Street, Cooperstown, with Fr. Michael Cambi, pastor, officiating. The Service of Committal and Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Index, where Jean will be laid to rest alongside her first husband, Joseph Bozosi, Sr. Immediately following the service at the cemetery, there will be a reception in St. Mary’s Parish Hall, located directly behind the church. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be directed to the Cooperstown Food Pantry, 25 Church Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326. 

Local arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.