Community members plan to line busy Bardstown highway in memory - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Community members plan to line busy Bardstown highway in memory of Tommy Ballard

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BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- The parking lot at Houghlin-Greenwell Funeral Home was packed Tuesday night.

Family and friends of Tommy Ballard showed up in large numbers for the first of three visitations.

Ballard, 54, was shot and killed Saturday morning while hunting on his family’s Nelson County property near the Bluegrass Parkway. The shooting is under investigation by Kentucky State Police but detectives have not said if it appears Ballard was murdered or if his death was an accident.

Ballard is the father of Crystal Rogers, a Bardstown woman who mysteriously vanished in July 2015.

“First Crystal, now her dad?” said Jennifer Lanham, the owner of The Yard Sale Store along Highway 31 in Bardstown. “They need all the support they can get with people trying to find out what happened.”

The road outside of Lanham’s business will be part of a community effort to show support for the Ballard family.

Following Ballard’s funeral on Friday morning, people will line the road from Bethlehem High School down Highway 31 to St. Thomas Cemetery, where the 54-year-old will be laid to rest.

Organizers say there will be no handmade signs or balloons. The procession of sorts will simply involve people standing arm-to-arm and hand-to-hand as a way to show their love.

“I think if you’re in a hurry to go somewhere, you better go around. There’s gonna be a lot of people out here,” Lanham said.

“I told them they could use my parking lot,” said Marsha Bryan, the owner of Bardstown Buildings Surplus. “I told them it was a great idea. I think it was great that they were doing that.”

“To see something like this happen really warms my heart, and it will warm other peoples’ hearts as well,” said Bryan’s 10-year-old grandson, Micah Whitson. “It just makes me feel great inside because it makes me feel like the community actually cares about people.”

Community members have also created new green signs reading “Standing with the Ballards,” as well as T-shirts featuring Ballard’s face and the words “We will continue your walk.” Those can be picked up at Liberty Tax Service in Bardstown.

Ballard’s funeral will be 11 a.m. Friday at Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral.

Family members say Ballard will be buried in his signature Prayers for Crystal shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information on Ballard’s death is asked to contact Kentucky State Police.

Related Stories:

Truck drivers could provide clues in weekend shooting death of Tommy Ballard

Investigators question whether Tommy Ballard's shooting death was an accident or murder

Officers investigating after father of missing Bardstown mother Crystal Rogers shot and killed while hunting

One year later, no answers in disappearance of Bardstown mother

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