LEXINGTON, Ky. — Don Ball, founder of a prominent home-building company and a major Lexington philanthropist, has died. He was 81.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Ball created Ball Homes in 1959 along with his wife, Mira. In recent years, the company expanded to Louisville and to Tennessee and is now ranked as one of the top 100 builders in the country.

Ball, who died Friday, also helped reshape lives in central Kentucky in 1993 with the founding of the Hope Center, which develops programs to address the causes of homelessness.

Ball served in the Kentucky General Assembly in the 1960s.

He also served as co-chair of the Recovery Kentucky Task Force, which established a network of residential recovery centers across Kentucky.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday that Ball and his wife “touched countless lives with their kindness and generosity.”

Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com

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