Walter Ball
Walter Ball

Obituary of Walter Ball

We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Walter Ball on September 23rd, 2023.


We are filled with joy to remember his life and all he gave us. He lived in paradise, on the Kennebecasis River, and played his piano until the end.


Born in Fredericton, New Brunswick on May 19th, 1931, to Harley and Winnifred (Nye) Ball, Walter is survived by his wife of 60 years, Suzanne; his children: Tzigane (Michael Caddell) of Rothesay, Conrad (Julie Maloney) of Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia and Spenser (Jennifer Sinclair) of Saint John; his brother Charles Ball of Saint John; his grandchildren: Zoë, Ray (Harriet) and Marley Caddell and Patrick Ball; as well as by his nieces and nephews: Lauren Upper, Jonathan Ball, and Chantelle Ball Gagnon.


In addition to his parents, Walter was predeceased by his brother Kenneth Ball and his nephew Christian Ball.


Walter was a musician, a teacher and a builder of things and communities. Creative, gregarious and ever-youthful – he never acted his age. He was ever-questioning and curious; generous with his time, his knowledge and his music.


He studied piano at the Toronto Conservatory of Music for 10 years and travelled Europe and the Soviet Union, performing and competing in international concert piano competitions. Returning home to Saint John, he became a music teacher to tens of thousands of students, believing that everyone had the potential to sing and play and should be given the opportunity to perform. In spite of his decades long teaching career, Walter knew there was much to learn outside the classroom, reminding us, “Don’t let schooling get in the way of your education”.


As creator of the Steel Band and Executive Director of Festival by the Sea/ sur Mer, Walter was a visionary who had no time for naysayers. ‘Ni bastori carborundum’ was a favourite saying of his.  As a 3-term City Counsellor, he focussed on the arts and immigration. Walter felt strongly that the differences we have in culture and language are to be explored, respected and rejoiced. He taught us a love of art and creativity and the deep value of things made well by hand. The 200 finely crafted rocking horses he built in his later life are a testament to this.


He loved his family dearly. Always there to encourage and inspire, and proud to brag.

We will miss you deeply.


 ‘Good Show”, Walter.


A Celebration of Life for Walter will take place on Saturday, October 28th, 2023, from 2pm - 4pm at the Saint John Arts Centre, 20 Peel Plaza, Saint John. Arrangements entrusted to Brenan’s Funeral Home (506-634-7424).


Donations in Walter’s memory may be made to the Imperial Theatre, Saint John Arts Centre, or an arts organisation of your choice. Online condolences and memories may be shared at

Share Your Memory of