Brother Hiram Price Ball was born on July 13, 1913 in Millvale, Pennsylvania, and died on September 11, 1999 in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. He is survived by his wife, Florence, son Hiram, Jr., and daughters Victoria and Susan, and two grandsons. In the span of his 86 years, he built a long resume of accomplishments for himself by serving others.
Brother Ball was educated in the public schools of Pittsburgh and at the University School of Pittsburgh. He attended Lehigh University and received a bachelor's degree in 1937 from Franklin and Marshall College. He attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1937 and 1938 and received an honorary degree from Thiel College when he gave the commencement address there.
In business, he rose to Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Ball Chemical Company. He enjoyed a very successful and fulfilling career and was a recognized leader in the development of paints, resins, and insulating varnish. He also held membership and leadership roles in numerous technical and professional associations.
It was in Freemasonry, however, that Brother Ball seemed to find his deepest satisfactions. He was raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason in Harmony Lodge No. 429, Zelienople, on March 13, 1941. Brother Ball served as Worshipful Master of his Lodge in 1944. In 1947, he resigned to become a member of his father's Lodge, Corinthian Lodge No. 573, Pittsburgh, from which he also resigned in 1959 to become Warrant Master and trustee of Colonel Henry Bouquet Lodge No. 787, which merged with Lodge No. 45 in Pittsburgh in 1978. In 1997 Brother Ball changed his Blue Lodge affiliation for a final time by returning to Corinthian Lodge No. 573.
He was a member of Zerubbabel Royal Arch Chapter No. 162; Mt. Moriah Council No. 2, Royal and Select Master Masons; Pittsburgh Commandery No. 1, Knights Templar; U.S. Premier Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine; Court No. 2, Royal Order of Jesters; Islam Grotto; Al-O-Mon Forest No. 138, Tall Cedars of Lebanon; the National Sojourners and the Pennsylvania Masonic Homes High Twelve Club.
Brother Ball received his Scottish Rite degrees in the bodies of the Valley of Pittsburgh, but also maintained membership in the Valley of New Castle. He received the 33º in September, 1964. A member of Syria Shrine Temple, he served as Illustrious Potentate in 1957.
Brother Ball was elected Junior Grand Warden in 1964, and served as Right Worshipful Grand Master in 1970 and 1971.
In his final report as Grand Master, he said: "The landmarks of the obvious aspects of our heritage and accomplishments are of a perpetual and enduring nature. But Freemasonry, the changeless, is ever changing, ever beginning. Let us with high resolve, once again, rededicate ourselves and pledge our hearts, minds, and energies to her purpose and service."
He couldn't have described himself better! Brother Ball put his heart, his mind, and his energy into the work of Freemasonry. He seemed to have a changeless personality and he aged with such dignity that his accumulated years were undetected by many. But his interests were ever, and ever beginning. He was youthful in his demeanor and his actions, and he liked being in on the beginnings of new efforts. In 1976, he chaired the Committee on Youth Activities, which began the Masonic Youth Programs at the Patton Campus in Elizabethtown, and which eventually led us to the start of the Pennsylvania Youth Foundation. During those early years, Brother Ball provided enthusiastic and animated leadership and friendship to the young people of Rainbow, DeMolay, and Job's Daughters, who used the vacant school campus.
Later, he became the right-hand man of our late Brother Carl W. Stenberg, Jr., R.W.P.G.M., as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for the Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Children, and he provided stellar leadership to that fledgling program, which has since grown in support and activity.
The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has lost a great Mason, and we are the poorer for his passing.