Matt Riley Ballard was born at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, CA and built a solid, community-oriented life in Solano County as a devoted husband, loving father and Papa, hard worker and coach.
He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Jody (Powers) Ballard, his daughter Mariah (Brandon) Hierholzer, his son James Ballard, grandchildren Riley and Emmet, and many family members including Ucre (Deon) Mattson, Kevon Spier, Hunter Pyshora and Lucas Ballard, and a sister. He was preceded in death by his mom & step-dad (Darlene and William Pyshora) and brothers Michael Pyshora and Mark Ballard.
Matt was the youngest of 3 children from Darlene (Doli) Ballard and Charles E. Ballard. His mom married Bill Pyshora when Matt was little and he soon had a younger half-brother – Michael. His step-dad Bill raised Matt as one of his own, and Matt dearly loved Bill; they spent many days working on the Pyshora Family Ranch in Mix Canyon.
Matt attended Will C. Wood for 9th grade, and finished high school at Vacaville High School, where he played football and started working for Momma and Poppa at Pietro’s #1 in Vacaville as a dishwasher then a cook.
In 1978, Matt started at Lucky Grocery at 18, working in many stores over the years including Vacaville, Fairfield, Suisun, Napa, Vallejo as he spent 34 years before he retired from there in 2012.
Matt continued on to become a successful businessman and in 1990 he started “Matt’s Signs,” installing real estate sign posts for many Realtors in Solano County, which continued to be a thriving business to the end of his life.
Matt believed in giving back to his beloved community.. He made time to volunteer as an assistant coach for youth football at
Vacaville Christian School (2007-2016) and then joined the Will C. Wood Football coaching team (2017–2022). He wasn’t just a football coach, he was a life coach and he helped many young men. He also volunteered with The 100 Club of Solano and Yolo Counties – an organization that helps to support the families of fallen first responders.
For enjoyment, Matt treasured his family time and loved watching sports, especially the San Francisco 49ers & San Francisco Giants. Matt was a supportive father and loved to watch his children in their sports competitions. Matt was a hard worker, loyal and he loved his family and friends. If you were fortunate to know Matt, you know that he would drop everything if someone needed his help.
Matt loved spending time in Hawaii and his ashes will be scattered off the coast of Oahu.
For those who would like to attend, a memorial service will be held at Will C. Wood High School Football Stadium, 998 Marshall Road, Vacaville, CA Sat, Oct. 15 6pm-8pm. Light refreshments will be served.
Donations can be made to:
Marina Church 427 Main Street, Suisun, CA 94585 or text GIVE to 855-281-0738
Will C. Wood Football program 998 Marshall Road, Vacaville, CA 95687
The 100 Club of Solano & Yolo Counties PO Box 835 Fairfield, CA 94533 or www.100ClubSYC.org