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Obit – Mr. Jeffrey Ballenger

Longtime South Carthage resident Mr. Jeffrey Ballenger, age 63, now of Gallatin, died unexpectedly at the Hartsville Pike home of Jeffrey and his brother. He was pronounced deceased at 6:35 a.m. Tuesday morning, November 29, 2022, by a Sumner County Ambulance Service Paramedic at the home.

Funeral services for Mr. Ballinger were conducted from the Carthage Chapel of Sanderson Funeral Home with Eld. James Thomas Gibbs officiating at the 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon, December 1st service. Burial followed in the Ballinger family lot in the Garden of Gethsemane at the Smith County Memorial Gardens.

Born Jeffrey Glenn Ballenger in Carthage on March 11, 1959, he was one of two sons of Talitha Eliza Givens Ballenger of Gallatin and the late South Carthage businessman Robert Dixon Ballenger, who died at the age of 80 on November 1, 1990.

Mr. Ballenger, having never married, was a 1977 graduate of Smith County High School and attended two years of college. At S.C. H. S. he was in the Beta Club his sophomore, junior and senior years. He was on the “Black & Gold” paper staff and served as co-editor his senior year. He was also in the junior play and the speech club and the business club his senior year.

His father was a longtime owner and operator of the Hollywood Café in South Carthage where the present Citizens Bank of South Carthage is located and after selling the establishment to the late Harvey Knight, he and his wife constructed the Dairy Queen across Cookeville Highway from the Café. 

The Dairy Queen was the first fast food restaurant in Smith County and was opened in 1961 with twelve crystal hamburgers selling for a dollar. They referred to this at the grand opening as a sack full.

The family operated the establishment until selling in 1969 and retiring.

Mr. Ballenger was saved as a teenager and was baptized into the full fellowship of the South Carthage Missionary Baptist Church.

He was formerly employed by the Welch Corporation in Gordonsville and as an accomplished artist, he worked as an advertising artist.

In addition to Jeff’s mother, Talitha, his only immediate survivor is his brother, Bob Ballenger.


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