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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 6, June 2012, Posted On: 5/25/2012

West Virginia's Leoma Ballard, AMOA's First Woman President, Dies At 90

Nick Montano
Leoma Wiseman Ballard, Amusement and Music Operators Association, Leoma Ballard obituary, Belle Amusement Co., West Virginia Music and Vending Association, West Virginia Amusement & Limited Video Lottery Association, coin machine business, video lottery operator, juke box operator, coin-op history, Belle Historical Society, West Virginia History Hero

GLASGOW, WV -- Leoma Wiseman Ballard, the first woman president of the Amusement and Music Operators Association (Chicago), died on May 16 at the Golden Living Center here. She was 90.

Ballard founded Belle Amusement Co. (Belle, WV) in 1947. She served as secretary and treasurer of the West Virginia Music and Vending Association, which in 2001 became the West Virginia Amusement & Limited Video Lottery Association, for some 40 years.

Active outside the industry, the coin machine pioneer was a past president of the Belle Women's Club, committeewoman for the Republican Party of Eastern Kanawha County and member of the Judson Baptist Church. A native West Virginian, she belonged to the Belle Historical Society and was honored as one of the Mountain State's history heroes in 2007.

Ballard made coin-op history on Oct. 28, 1981, when she was elected AMOA president during the association's convention in Chicago, according to AMOA. She became an AMOA life member in 1954 and joined its board in 1968, the association reported.

Leoma Ballard is survived by a nephew, Anthony McCarus, and his wife, Yvonne, of Belle; grandnephew, Scott Ward McCarus; and grandniece, Jessica Morris. She is preceded in death by her husband, Wilbur Chris Ballard, and her sister, Aretta McCarus.

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