Henrietta "Retta" Balla Barron., age 79, passed away on October 9, 2021. Retta was born in Kountze, TX on August 31, 1942 to Henry and Evelyn Hooks Balla.
At the age of 15, the beautiful simplicity formed within her heart took hold of another, unwittingly, yet sublimely latching on to its companion. A young man, Donald, saw her for the first time and the rarity of a once in a while often sought-after experience struck him with all of its passion and potential, love at first sight. He knew, they knew, and their hearts knew; and they would spend the rest of their lives together exploring just how deeply love can reach. Due to the youthfulness of each, and after a few years of courting, they eloped to Arkansas City and sealed their love in marriage on April 5, 1960. Her mother’s frustration was short lived, not because of the elopement, Mrs. Evelyn loved Donald, yet now her helper had moved to another stage of life, as Retta had devotedly helped with all her younger sibling’s care and needs. Retta was selfless, loving, kind; her encounters with others left one impression, she was loved by everyone. If she put a smile on others faces, it made her smile, and food was her preferred method of imbuing happiness. None knew this better than Donald and her children. Her cornbread dressing was so delicious, she should and could have patented it, and if the palate needed additional satisfaction, cakes, seafood gumbo, and a plethora of unique recipes were on the menu. Such a talented cook was she, Retta could recreate at home a meal she had simply tasted at a restaurant. As their children grew, their home became a haven for many, especially their children’s friends, and the designation of “Mom” and “Pop” she and Donald both cherished. The kindness in her was rivaled only by her strength; she struggled but stayed strong, caring more about the needs of others before herself. When Elvis died, she cried. Retta enjoyed many forms of music, but none more than classic rock and classic country. Cooking may have been a talent, but Video Poker and Keno were past times. She enjoyed the people and the winnings, including many times in the thousands, though seldom would her giving nature suffer her to keep much. Retta was so generous when able, that she would give her last dollar to those in need. She found peace in the outdoors, at the lake and beach, enjoying it most when she was with her “Baby”, Donald, and her loved ones. Retta’s subtle, gentleness did not mask her beauty, it made her yet more beautiful; not due to a fading exterior or even her deeds, but who she was and how she lived. As she took her last breath, she left, in the hearts of all that had the blessing of knowing her, a mark from her specialness and a priceless heartstring of her own golden heart.
Left to honor her memory is her loving husband of 61 years, Donald Barron; sons, Glenn Barron and wife, Nancy, of Vidor, TX, Eugene Barron and wife, Liz, of Buna, TX, and Larry Barron of Vidor, TX; daughter, Michelle Barron of Vidor, TX; brothers, Jimmy Balla and Jay Balla; sisters, Bobbie Murphy and Linda Kay Spell; grandsons, Jonathan Knoblock and wife, Brittany, of Buna, TX, Nicholas Barron and wife, Kamryn, of Evadale, TX, Jeffrey Haymond of Lufkin, TX, and Eric Haymond and wife, Stacie, of Pitkin, LA; great-grandchildren, Blayke, Bodhi, and Baker Knoblock; and a host of extended family, friends, and loved ones.
Preceding Retta in death are her parents; brothers, Glenn Balla, Billy Joe Balla, and Michael Wayne Balla; best-friend and sister-in-law, Betty Jean Hossley; and beloved pet and four-legged baby girl, Fancy Mae Barron.
Visitation for family and friends will be Monday, October 18, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Turning Point Church, 3600 N Main St, Vidor, TX 77662. Retta’s life honoring funeral service will begin at 3:00 p.m., also at the church, with Bro. Brandon Burns officiating.
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