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Ballentine was big part of Tallassee

By Michael Butler

When you see an old photograph, there is a good chance it was taken by Jimmy Ballentine. Ballentine was known by many as Tallassee's resident photographer for decades. He died on Monday at the age of 81.

He began full-time work as a wedding photographer in 1970 and worked a variety of events. Ballentine took photos of school events and recreational sports teams on a regular basis. He worked as sports editor of the Tallassee Tribune as well.

In a Tribune article written by Ballentine in the Sept. 2, 1971 edition commemorating Tallassee High School's first football team, he wrote of the 1921 inaugural season and its head coach Arthur Noble.

"Noble, after seeing the interest in the game, decided to help in the capacity of coach of the team," Ballentine wrote. "At that time, coaches held other jobs other than that of coaching. Mr. Noble was an employee with Tallassee Mills."

Ballentine was involved in numerous community projects. The annual Tallassee Christmas parade, for instance, was directed by Ballentine for 21 years.

An active member and deacon of First Baptist Church of Tallassee and a member of the choir for many years, Ballentine was civic-minded and belonged to many of the local clubs. He served as president of the Tallassee Chamber of Commerce, Tallassee Lions Club, Tallassee Civitan Club and Tallassee Quarterback Club.

Ballentine was also president of the Tallassee Schools PTA and Band Boosters Club. He started Tallassee Office Supply and then Ballentine Photography and retired in 2000 with a career total of 1,349 weddings during those years.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Mrs. Judy Pemberton Ballentine and son, James Bradley “Brad” Ballentine. Visitation will be Wednesday, April 28 from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. at Jeffcoat Funeral Home.  Graveside services will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery in Tallassee with Bro. Barry Tice officiating, Jeffcoat Funeral Home directing.