In memory of Dr. William Pell Ballance
Entered Life on September 21, 1958
Entered Eternal Life on October 30, 2017
The Rehard family experienced a massive loss due to the sudden and very unexpected death of our incredibly fun-loving, healthy, extraordinarily brilliant, off-the-charts influential, and astonishingly gifted by the Lord with wisdom and discernment, “Uncle Bill.” William Pell Ballance was the beloved brother of our coach, Erin Rehard, brother-in-law of our head coach, Jason Rehard, and uncle of the Rehard kids. He was the patriarch of the Ballance family and losing him caused the whole family to be deeply grieving.
Uncle Bill’s Christ-like example shaped lives. Because of his decision to place his trust in Jesus Christ to be his Lord and Savior, unconditional love, forgiveness, and wisdom flowed from him in such a beautiful way that it led the rest of our family to also trust in Jesus to give us a right relationship with God. He was our #1 role model, constantly impacting our lives by spurring us on to wholeheartedly follow Christ and helping us walk in faith by his godly example and wise instruction. Without a doubt, Uncle Bill embodied all eight of the FIRST Core Values (especially Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition) like no one we had ever seen. He raised the bar for us by inspiring us to (1) serve others with attentive, compassionate, loving kindness and (2) make a difference in this world through working and mentoring others in the field of engineering – and he did it all for the glory of God.
Bill attended the University of California, Irvine where he attained his Bachelors, Masters, and PhD in Electrical Engineering. As in his personal life, Bill also had an immense impact on those he worked with and in the industry he worked in. While working in national defense at Hughes in Fullerton, Bill forged friendships and a close knit group of coworkers, which persisted to the day of his death. As his career progressed, Bill became a nationally recognized expert in the field of real-time digital beamforming and space time adaptive processing, publishing seminal papers which are still highly referenced today. Making such an impact in our country’s national defense, he always remained humbly dependent on the Lord and would often ask for prayer before giving presentations across the county to high ranking officials, including four-star generals. In 1997 Raytheon acquired Hughes, and Bill began working in El Segundo. In the years to come, the breadth and depth of his knowledge extended to other topics including signal processing and tracking radar system engineering, electronic projection, GPS anti-jam estimation, and optimization theory. Throughout his career, his technical expertise and vast experience touched many different parts of the company. For example, Bill served on the Invention Review Committee, the System Development Fellow Support Team, the IEEE, the Tinkered Medal Committee, and was the technological honors lead. Bill reached the zenith of his career in 2013 by being promoted to the highest technical level that can be attained at Raytheon: a Senior Principal Engineering Fellow with honors. Even with all of these impressive accomplishments, Bill’s true gift and passion was mentoring and teaching other engineers. To that end, he was the Technical Director of the Advanced Technical Education Program, which allows engineers the opportunity to attain more knowledge through taking courses in a variety of different engineering topics. Not only did he oversee the program, but he also served as an instructor for several of the courses. And as an instructor, Bill gave weekly lectures after work, assigned and graded papers, and answered questions relating the material throughout the week. Despite this incredibly busy schedule, Bill always found time to make himself available to anyone who needed his help. And through this tireless dedication and passion for teaching, Bill created a culture of continual learning that leads an enduring legacy at Raytheon.
With such God-given, exceptional intelligence, it’s noteworthy to mention the depths Uncle Bill went to in making all of us feel like his equal. He was not the type to show favoritism or speak down to people. On the contrary, he built others up with honest encouragement and humble stories of his own life-lessons. Having earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do in his youth, he kept up his physical strength and, therefore, was in great shape to thoroughly enjoy rough-housing with his family members. Favorite fun-loving games were being “picked up” by the ears, tossed into the air, trapped in his arms, held upside down, doused with various forms of confetti, tickled endlessly, sneaked up upon, and even “sat upon” in a chair! He was the master of goofy faces, goofy jokes, goofy tricks, and goofy puns. When he entered the room, joy, fun, security, compassion, council, peace, and love entered in with him. He was surprisingly conscientious of all that went on around him. That attentiveness aided him greatly in selecting and giving incredibly generous gifts, and in meetings specific needs through sacrificial acts of service. Perhaps the best stories of Uncle Bill’s servant heart are the late hours into the night where he would stay up helping others with school, work, medical issues, and council. Always making himself available, even his coworkers were continually astonished that after executive meetings where Uncle Bill was the technical honors lead, Uncle Bill would be the last one to leave because he would stay late helping the janitor clean up the conference room. If there was one character quality Uncle Bill shined in more than any others, it would be in this: unconditional, sacrificial LOVE.
It’s hard to imagine life without Uncle Bill’s physical presence. We are forever grateful to the Lord for (1) the time we had him here with us and (2) that his trust was solidly in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. It’s true we lost a brother and uncle who deeply invested his time, money, and talents to serve others with love and compassion, but thanks be to Jesus, the story does not end there. Since the Bible is the only proven book to be God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16), and in it God says He always keeps His promises (Numbers 23:19), then it’s a huge understatement to say Uncle Bill is now more alive than ever at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8), and we take great comfort knowing the Bible assures us we will one day see our extraordinary brother and uncle again (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18). But in the meantime, no words will ever adequately express how much he will always be deeply, deeply missed.
(John 13:34-35) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
(Romans 12:10) “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:14-18) “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
(Psalm 116:15) “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”