Remembrance for Kristy Ball

October 3, 2023

We are saddened by the loss of Kristy Ball, a long-term staff member at Merritt who retired in 2019. We are celebrating her memory and life as a dedicated friend, family member, and housing professional. She passed in early September.  

Kristy was a cherished member of Merritt as both a wonderful and supportive colleague and excellent Asset Manager. Friends and colleagues have shared their memories of Kristy to honor her impact in their lives, and the lives of so many others. 

Barney Deasy, former long-time CEO of Merritt, shared that Kristy was a “core member of Merritt. She was the face of Merritt to several key project partners, all of whom enjoyed a great relationship with Kristy. When family concerns required her to move to Utah, she provided a successful model for working on a remote basis. She will be greatly missed by her many friends and colleagues.”  

Kristy prioritized and loved her family. Nedrah Barnes, current Fund Director, remembers Kristy often talking about her grandchild, their skateboarding skills, and overall, how proud she was of them. “Kristy was always up for an adventure when we visited different cities for conferences,” shared Nedrah. Kristy’s adventurous spirit and aptitude for joy was a common theme throughout her life. She even trained her goldendoodle, Darby, as a certified therapy animal so they could visit care homes so people could have visitors and Darby could bring them some joy.  

Karen Smyda, former Director of Acquisitions and recently retired Board Member, shared a bit about Kristy’s path at Merritt. “Kristy started at Merritt as an administrative assistant shared by Acquisitions and Asset Management, which shows her ability to bridge dichotomy. She organized the due diligence paper overload, helped with the transition to SMT, and helped keep us all sane during tax time. When she and her husband Rick moved to Utah to be nearer to family, the office lost that sense of even temperedness and humor that she brought in every day,” said Karen. “It was always rewarding to attend Housing California and other conferences with her because everyone stopped by the Merritt booth to say hi and check in. It was always a joy and great fun for me when Kristy came to do inspections when she was working remotely. It gave us more time for our talks about books, movies, politics, spirituality and art. She was a wonderful artist, loved design and was a talented colorist.” 

Maria Duarte, long-time Director of Asset Management and recently retired, spoke of Kristy’s time when she became an Asset Manager, “she understood the importance of making each of our partners feel respected and heard. Whether she was working with the leadership at an organization or the manager and maintenance staff at a property, Kristy always made each person feel important. This is what I appreciated most about Kristy.”

Suzanne Vice, former Acquisitions Officer, shared her memories of her friend. “Kristy had a calming presence with her cool hats, beautiful turquoise, and casual style, she was a true delight! She made me chuckle with her search for a delicious mac & cheese, the “never quite right” old-fashioned, and at times enjoying dessert as her meal. We shared fun excursions, a love for dogs, meaningful conversations, and lots of silly laughs. She was a dear and true friend, a beautiful soul.” 

Thank you to those who shared their memories of Kristy. She will be missed but her impact will not be forgotten.  

You can read Kristy’s obituary here: Kristy Ball Obituary (1947 – 2023) – Legacy Remembers 



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