Steven Sung Min Ballou

Steven Sung Min Ballou, age 37, of Grand Ledge, passed away in the loving care of his family on July 5, 2023, as a result of a ruptured brain aneurysm. He was born October 2, 1985, in Taejeon, South Korea. Steve is the son of Blair and Martha (Young) Ballou and brother of Nick Sung Ho Ballou. He is survived by his parents, brother and sister-in-law Nick and Carley Ballou, devoted friend and co-conspirator Libby Klaiss (Tony Delreal), Honorary Grandfather Neil Klaiss, Aunt Barbara Collins, Uncle Jim Young (Margaret), Uncle Bob Young (Sandra), Aunt Michelle Ballou, Uncle Blaise Ballou, and many favorite cousins. He was preceded in death by his Uncle Rick Collins, and Grandparents Peg and Rhea Young and Ruth and Sullivan Ballou.
People who were influential in Steve’s life included many professionals who supported his development and health when others didn’t, including Dr. Ron Jacubiak, Dr. John Schuster, Dr. Hugh Culton, Dr. Jill England, Dr. Lauren Brown, Dr. Linda Chermak, Dr. Dan Derksen, Erin Dunbar, Adreena Nersesian, Cindy Edgerton, Shelly Stratz, and Justin Caughey. Educators who were instrumental in his development of skills were Ruthie Kamminga, Kathy Burt, Jan Baum, Mary Dama, Janet Shannon, and Karen Bergeron. He will be missed by his friends, Ann Roiter, Danny Ferris, Lee Weirich, Dawn, Chuck, and Charlie Vanneste, Elizabeth, Joe, and Audrey Siler, the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club and staff at the Cracker Barrel, and the many people he met in the communities of Grand Ledge and Charlotte.
Steve made great strides in life when people met him on his level, encouraged his interactions, and appreciated his sense of humor. After he left school, he had the opportunity to experience the community at his own pace and met many people through his engagement in local activities. Highlights of his weeks included breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, working at the Charlotte Farmers Market, music therapy with Erin at the MSU Community Music School, Monday morning movies at the Sun Theater, haircuts by Val Adams, exploring the community, and interacting with anyone who was willing to chat.
Steve’s favorite activities were sleeping in, eating, beach vacations, “road trips” with the family, extended family events, adventures with Libby, Disney World, roller coasters, music, and outings with his cousins. He was a great traveler and enjoyed reading road signs and mile markers along the way. He loved all types of music, reading, rhyming and language, numbers, singing, and the MSU Spartan Marching Band. He enjoyed learning with computer programs and electronics, sharing random funny facts with friends and family.
Over the years, Steve had many wonderful support people who helped him navigate and explore the community, including Nick Gleason, John Christensen, Mikel Kellogg, Dawn and Chuck Vanneste, Jackelyn Iorio, Erin Bobola, and many MSU students.
Many thanks to the nurses and staff of the Sparrow Neuro ICU and Sparrow LTACH, Dr. Galyna Clouse and Kathleen Naber, RN, of Sparrow Palliative Care, and the staff of Elara Caring Hospice, who put every effort into Steve and our family’s care. Many thanks to the neighbors, friends, and relatives who supported us through Steve’s illness.
In honor of Steve, a Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, July 15, 2023, at Burkhead-Green-Kilgo Funeral Home, Charlotte, Michigan, with visitation beginning at 1 p.m. and the Celebration at 2:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, those desiring may consider contributions in Steve’s memory to the MSU Music Therapy Program at the Community Music School or the charity of their choice.
“To be nobody but yourself in a world that is doing its best, night and day, to make you everyone else – is to fight the hardest battle anyone can fight…” E.E.Cummings
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