Don’s family was his joy and his home, his haven.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia, his sons Douglas (Alice) and Don (Carol), and five much-loved grandchildren: David, Mia, Elise, Amanda, and Donny.
Don was born in Brooklyn and lived in Bay Ridge graduating from Fort Hamilton High School in 1955. He spent four years in the Air Force at McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Washington. While in the service, he became the Northwest judo champion, and also practiced the martial art of karate under the tutelage of the famed sensei Nishiyama.
In 1961, he joined the Federal Aviation Agency from which he retired after 38 years of government service.
Don was an avid and innovative “do-it-yourselfer,” who created many eye-catching structures on his premises.
He graduated from Dowling College earning first a bachelor's degree and later an M.B.A. and M.S.Ed.
Don exercised at a health club each day and his fitness helped him to survive several life-threatening illnesses. He was a well-known joke teller, and had an extensive collection of jokes for every occasion. His nickname was “Big”; an appropriate soubriquet for his outsized personality.
A wake will be held on Sunday, July 26th, 3-6 p.m. at Raynor & D'Andrea Funeral Home in West Sayville. A Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, July 27th at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Brooklyn and burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery. A memorial celebration will be announced later.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Greater Sayville Food Pantry or the Sayville Village Improvement Society (S.V.I.S.).
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald Abraham Ballan, please visit our floral store.
Sayville Food Pantry
47 Gillette Avenue, Sayville NY 11782