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COVID-19 Archive

Images and Stories from Vermont

James Ballen, 68, Burlington


James Ballen, 68, Burlington


A Vermont woman says that, while the nation's nursing homes are understandably under scrutiny right now, she feels her spouse received top-notch care in one of them -- even though he did contract COVID-19.

Psychologist James "Ram" Ballen died Easter Sunday. He loved dancing, getting outdoors, and spotting animals, said his widow, Anne Black of East Dummerston.

"In many ways -- and I'm going to cry when I say this -- I want to be more like him," Black said of her husband of 16 years. "I want to be as authentic and as real as he was."

Black said Ballen had spent the last four of his 68 years in the memory care unit of Birchwood Terrace in Burlington, Vermont, with Alzheimer's.

After his death, a test showed Ballen had COVID-19, too, Black said.

"He's probably one of the purest beings I have ever met in my life," Black recalled in an interview with NECN and NBC10 Boston Tuesday.


Jack Thurston, New England Cable News


April 12, 2020


Nancy Remsen

Spatial Coverage



Jack Thurston, New England Cable News, “James Ballen, 68, Burlington,” COVID-19 Archive, accessed December 6, 2022,