George Derrill Ballentine, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, passed away in Orlando, Florida on May 19, 2023. He was born on November 11, 1936, near White Rock, SC. He was raised in Dorchester County, SC, and graduated from Harleyville-Ridgeville High school in 1954.
Through use of his keen mind and perseverance, he overcame a childhood of poverty, and graduated number one in his class at the University of South Carolina with a degree in civil engineering in 1958. He then joined the Air Force and served our country with distinction until he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1980. The Air Force paid for him to get his master’s degree from Purdue University in 1965, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas in 1972. Dr. Ballentine then spent the rest of his military career doing top secret research. While in the military he served at multiple bases including ones in Alaska and South Korea.
Upon leaving the service, Dr. Ballentine returned to his home state of South Carolina. He then worked a second career in the Dam Safety Program of the State of South Carolina. He worked with the South Carolina Land Resources Commission and the South Carolina department of Health and Environmental Control. He retired from the State of South Carolina in 2001. He was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and was a registered professional engineer in South Carolina. In 2012 he relocated to Orlando, FL to live near family. Dr. Ballentine’s hobbies included gardening, caring for his numerous cats and dogs and rooting for the Gamecocks. His passion was church service. He was a member of multiple Methodist churches during his military career. From 1980 to 2012 he was a loyal member of Capers Chapel UMC, and at one time or another, held virtually every position available to a lay person in the church. Upon moving to Orlando in 2012 he was a member of Conway United Methodist church and subsequently First United Methodist church of Orlando.
The greatest joy in his life was his family. He loved family vacations and trips. He is survived by his son and daughter in law, Chris, and Ann Ballentine, of Orlando. He is also survived by his daughter and son in law, Kelly, and Jack Donson of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also survived by his seven grandchildren, these being: Ben Cox, Sara Cox, Keith Cox, and Kevin Cox (all of Cincinnati OH), Kathy Mae McGuire (Bedford, VA), David Ballentine and Ryan Ballentine (both of Orlando). He is also survived by five great grandchildren (Cadi, Grace, Cici, Jordan and Nicholas). He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed by his entire family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Franklin Ballentine and Mae Belle Lindler Ballentine, and his beloved sister, Rita Infinger.
There will be a memorial service at First United Methodist Church of Orlando, 142 E. Jackson Street, June 10 at 11 am in the Contemporary Worship Center.
Following the memorial will be a reception/luncheon at the church. A second internment service will be held at Capers Chapel UMC, 331 Holloway Street, Pomeria, SC 29126, on June 11 at 1 pm.