Obituary: Cornelia Marjorie Ballou


July 7, 2023

Cornelia Marjorie Ballou, 91, of Barnum passed away on Sunday, July 2, 2023, at New Perspective in Barnum. Cora was born June 14, 1932, in Kettle River to Steven and Adelaide Tomczak. She began learning in the one-room school in Kettle River, later attending and graduating from Moose Lake High School in 1950.

Cora lived in Duluth and married Leland Ballou on Dec. 27, 1955, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Split Rock Township. She was employed by Kelly Furniture as a bookkeeper.

The couple later moved east of Barnum and bought a farm they named West Grove Farm, where they lived and farmed until 1991. During this time she worked at Ruby's Red Owl in Barnum, later at the Little Store for 25 plus years. During this time she lovingly and wholeheartedly raised five children.

She was known for a prize-winning chocolate angel food cake that she made for many of her children's birthdays, earning blue ribbons for many years at the Carlton County Fair.

She had an unwavering Catholic faith, always making sure her family attended Mass every Sunday. Cora was a member of the Holy Trinity Church in Barnum, and also the Ladies Guild. She later became a member of Sts. Mary & Joseph in Sawyer. She was a member of Moose Lake's American Legion Peterson-Westerberg Post Auxiliary for more than 50 years and served in multiple positions.

Cora had a love of polka music, traveling with her husband to polka fests and supporting him for various musical gigs, especially singing her favorite song, "You are My Sunshine." She had a love of chocolate, a good cup of coffee or two, and playing cards with family and friends. She also loved animals, especially dogs, and nature, which included taking walks, picking wildflowers, camping, and fishing. She enjoyed many annual North Shore trips.

The greatest highlight of her life was being a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

Cora was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brothers, Carl, Clem and Jerome; and sisters, Dorothy, Jean and Isabel.

She is survived by her children, Jeffry (Cheryl) Ballou, Bonita (Brian) Calverley, Tom (Rochelle) Ballou, Terry Ballou (Patty MacDonald), and Celeste (Roger) Zimmel; brother, Greg Tomczak; sisters-in-law, Marjorie (Roger) Weske and Mary (Joe) Caddell; grandchildren, Karen (Jon) Gorentz, Todd (Kaylee) Ballou, Brandon Calverley, Blake, Ryan, Bailey and Kaitlyn Ballou, and Abby Zimmel; great-grandchildren, Jaden, Kaylin and Kiersten Gorentz, and Justin, Lane and Lacey Ballou; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation: 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Friday, July 7 at Atkins-Northland Funeral Home in Cloquet and 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service, Saturday, July 8 at Sts. Mary & Joseph's Catholic Church in Sawyer. A luncheon will follow the service. Family interment will be at a later date at Riverside Cemetery in Barnum.

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Pine Knot News, July 7, 2023


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