Lifelong Ballico resident, Don Ferrari passed away on October 11, 2012 at the Alexander Cohen Hospice House with family at his side. Donald, 84, was born and raised in the small community of Ballico where he later raised his own family. His father, Louie Ferrari, a native of Southern Switzerland settled in Ballico in 1921.
Don attended Ballico Grammar School and Livingston High School, graduating with the class of 1946. In high school Don played football, basketball, and baseball. He excelled in sports and was proud of his four varsity stripes. He never tired of sharing stories of his athletic prowess. In January of 1948, Don married his high school sweetheart, Lorraine Dooley from Delhi. Don helped his father build a hardware store in 1948. Their young family lived in a small apartment attached to the back of the store. The store opened in 1950 and was run and operated by the family for 50 years. Under Don’s management the hardware business prospered as he designed and sold irrigation systems. Don was a hard working farmer from an early age. It is likely that he hand knocked more acres of almonds than any of his generation.
Don was a respected leader of the community. He helped organize the Ballico Recreation. He irrigated and prepared the ball diamond for many years, coached girls softball and played slow-pitch softball into his 40’s. He became an honorary member of the Ballico Volunteer Fire Dept. after 40 years of active duty. He served several terms on the Ballico School Board and was a 50+ year member of the Delhi-Ballico Lions Club. Don was a founding member of the Northern Merced Hulling Association, established in 1969. He actively served on the Board of Directors until his death.
Don lived a productive and active life, still driving a tractor until his health took a turn in mid-summer. Lorraine and Don enjoyed entertaining family and friends at their Ballico home and on their houseboat at Don Pedro. His many activities included: bowling, playing pinochle, horseshoes, hunting, trap shooting, Giants baseball and visiting with friends. He loved talking and telling stories about his past.
He was preceded in death by his wife Lorraine, parents, Louie and Norma Ferrari, and sisters Marion Johnson and Pauline Talbot. He is survived by his daughters, Linda Fruge (Othellan), Nancy Hamaguchi (Don), of Turlock, Judy Larson (Myron) of Denair, son Roland Ferrari (Edie)
of Ballico. He leaves behind his beloved brother and sister, Norman Ferrari and Joyce Lenderman and sister-in-law Robin Dooley. Don was a grandfather to John Fruge, Joan Fruge, Michael Hamaguchi, Scott Hamaguchi, Jennifer Gordon, Bart Larson, Alison Larson, Jesse Ferrari, Victoria Ferrari, and Soa Ferrari. He is also survived by 6 great-grandchildren.
A graveside service only will be held at 11 AM on Monday, Oct. 22nd at Turlock Memorial Park.
An Open House to celebrate Don’s life is being planned for Saturday, Nov. 3rd, from 1-5 PM at the Ballico Legion Hall.
Donations in his honor may be made to the Delhi Community Presbyterian Church food bank and the Ballico Recreation. Please leave memories and condolences at www.allenmortuary.com.