Siegfried Egon Ballul went to be with his Lord on March 16, 2023. He was a simple yet complex man. At 5’4” this little German baker represented God’s love to all who knew him in such a giant way. He lived simply, so he could give generously, including giving away his cars. He was generous to his family helping take the entire crew of 20+ to Alaska, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, and his own trips to Germany to see relatives in 2015 and 2019. He loved retirement, spending time with family, and enjoyed playing with 8 great grandbabies born over the last 7 years since losing his beloved wife Christel to ovarian cancer in 2016, after 57 years of marriage.
Siegi Ballul, age 90, passed into eternal life with Christ in Claremore, OK, after both his daughters Nikki and Anita and their families lovingly cared for him following complications of bladder cancer 5 years earlier. During these 2 months of illness, Siegi happily visited with his 3 children, his 8 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. Dear friends lovingly brought Siegi from Colorado to Claremore where he had 12 glorious days of feeling so happy & enjoying warm weather! Nikki and Anita were honored to ‘share custody’ of Siegi between Colorado Springs & Claremore, OK. He loved to walk a mile a day and help us cook and garden and beat us at Rumicube or smile and gaze through the soul of a struggling family member and say with a shrug, “It’s so simple! Jesus loves you and He will help you.” While there may never be another Siegi, we know he would want us to share his passion “for loving and helping others.” That was his most precious gift to us, and we hope to carry on his legacy.
Born April 5, 1932 in Goldap, Germany (East Prussia) near the Baltic Sea to Gertrude and Fritz Ballul, the third child of four, having 2 older brothers Heinz and Gerhardt, and a younger sister Christel. Siegi attended school during WWII intermittently. His father and brother Gerhardt died in the last month of the war not being allowed to surrender, but Siegi escaped across the East/West border by night with his mom and sister and brother Heinz’s help. He was baptized in the Lutheran Church on July 16, 1947. He began training as a baker apprentice in Enslingen, Germany from 1950 to 1953, followed by one year each as a Journeyman in Schwabish Hall and Stuttgart, learning various baking specialties of all types of breads, cakes and fine pastry.
While working towards his Master Baker certification, Siegi dreamed of immigrating to America and owning a bakery. This dream did not seem possible in war-torn Germany. But America was known as the ‘Land of Opportunity” so Siegi applied to the World Council of Churches in 1955 and within a few weeks learned he had a job offer in Oklahoma City from a national restaurant chain Beverly’s Chicken in the Rough. In December 1955 his mom came home from Bible study and gave Siegi a scripture Ps. 31:14-15a: “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, you are my God. My times are in your hands;” At once, upon receiving this verse, Siegi felt peace to leave Germany alone, at age 23. At the OKC restaurant he baked 7 days a week and longed to have a day off when his pastor saw an ad for a baker at Clark’s Pastry Shop in Bethany. By 1968 Siegi owned it and added German pastries! The Balluls worked or owned the bakery from 1956 till 2011. Papa Angelo’s New York Pizzeria is there now.
Many other dreams came true in those years! While a new immigrant learning English, he met another new German family who invited him to dinner in 1956, where he met his beautiful Christel Ruth Rothenbusch, only 16 years old, and the oldest of soon to be 11 siblings. Siegi and Christel were married September 6, 1958 - 3 days after her 18th birthday. Daughter Anita and son David arrived a few years later. And in 1975 Christel and Siegi opened their home and hearts when they adopted a feisty 6-year-old Vietnamese girl named Nikki Phiet – one of 23 orphans rescued from Saigon by a German missionary friend.
Siegi awoke at 2am daily to bake and trained his son David to take it over. Christel managed the bakery and was an amazing cake decorator. The grandkids LOVED growing up at the bakery “helping” bake goodies! And Siegi liked visiting the sick with baked treats. The family hosted many big dinners for church newcomers and friends especially those without family nearby.
Survivors include Siegi and Christel’s 3 children, 8 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren as follows: daughter Anita Ballul McGuire, husband Brian and son Guy of Claremore, OK; son David S. Ballul of Oklahoma City, OK and his 2 daughters Brooke and husband Brock Baum of Edmond, OK, and daughter Bayley Ballul of Denver, CO; Siegi’s daughter Nikki Abello and husband Tim and their 5 children Phiet and husband Joshua Galicia, April and husband Tyson Anderson, Ethan and wife Delaynie Abello, Madison and husband Gary Weidman, and Chloe Abello of Colorado Springs, CO. Siegi’s 9 great grandchildren include: Beckham, Olivia and Hudson Baum of Edmond, and Ellie and Champion David Galicia, Archer and Oaks Anderson, Maeve & newborn Amauri Weidman and two more arriving soon, of Colorado Springs, CO! Siegi was preceded in death by his wife Christel (on February 1, 2016), his parents, three siblings, and infant granddaughter Faith Ashley Abello.
A memorial service for Siegfried (Siegi) Ballul will be held on Friday, April 28, 2023 at 10am at Claremore First Methodist Church at 1615 N. Hwy 88, Claremore, OK 74017, followed by a pot luck luncheon for family and friends.
Another service and internment will be the following day, Saturday, April 29, 2023 at Noon at Resurrection Cemetery Memorial Chapel, on N.W. Expressway and Council Road, in Okla. City, OK, followed by lunch at Papa Angela’s Pizza in Bethany.
Memorial contributions may be made to Claremore First Methodist Church, “in memory of Siegi Ballul for Evangelism – Attn: Kristal & Tim McHugh” 1615 N. Hwy 88, Claremore, OK 74017, 918-341-4580.