Mary Sophie Ball
Mary Sophie Ball was born on January 4th, 1921 to parents Joseph Ball and Theresa Burns. Sophie lived with her family at 44 Oakwood Avenue in Rye, New York, back when Rye was a small town with a population of 9,865. Sophie lived with her mother, Teresa, and 4 siblings, Gertrude, Cornelius, Dora, and Bernard. Sophie attended Rye High School, and graduated class of 1938. Over the course of her education, she took part in many extracurricular activities. Sophie was a Tennis player, a member of the Library Club, the 33 Club, S.O.S., and the Stagecraft Club. After her graduation, Sophie worked as a Saleswoman.
Rye Girls Become Members of Waacs
Sophie enlisted into the Women’s Army Corps on August 24th, 1943 and was a First Sergeant during World War II. The Women's Army Corps (WAC) was the women's branch of the United States Army. It was created as an auxiliary unit, the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) on 15 May 1942 and converted to an active duty status in the Army of the United States as the WAC on 1 July 1943.
The WAAC were first trained in three major specialties. The brightest and nimblest were trained as switchboard operators. Next came the mechanics, who had to have a high degree of mechanical aptitude and problem solving ability. This was later expanded to dozens of specialties like Postal Clerk, Driver, Stenographer, and Clerk-Typist. WAC armorers maintained and repaired small arms and heavy weapons that they were not allowed to use.
General Douglas MacArthur called the WACs "my best soldiers", adding that they worked harder, complained less and were better disciplined than men. Many generals wanted more of them and proposed to draft women but it was realized that this "would provoke considerable public outcry and Congressional opposition", and so the War Department declined to take such a drastic step. Those 150,000 women who did serve released the equivalent of 7 divisions of men for combat. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower said that "their contributions in efficiency, skill, spirit and determination are immeasurable".
Sophie met Vincent Shappy in the Army when they were stationed down South. They married in Rye in August of 1944.
WAC Sergt. Mary Sophia Ball Weds T/Sergt. Vincent Shappy
Mary S. Ball Review by Susan B. Miles on May 05, 2013
My aunt, Sophie Ball Shappy, was a high school classmate of my mothers, Audrey Cullen Ball . They graduated in 1938. In my mothers yearbook, my Aunt Sophie wrote to my mother, Dear Audrey, I hope that I am writing this to my future sister-in-law. Indeed she was; my mother married my father, my Aunt Sophies brother, Cornelius S. Ball on April 20, 1940. My Aunt Sophie was a bridesmaid. Aunt Sophie was a WAC and met my uncle Vincent Shappy, of Rutland, VT U. S. Army when they were stationed down South. They married in Rye in August of 1944. Aunt Sophie had a great sense of humor and had a wonderful attitude about life. She loved her husband, my Uncle Vinny Shappy who was co-owner of the Sweet Shop in Rye and was devoted to her four children, Terry, Susan, Joanne and Richard as well as to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Aunt Sophie and Uncle Vinny moved back to Vermont in the late 1950s. Aunt Sophie was always content in Vermont. My mother died on January 21, 2005. Seven weeks later, Aunt Sophie died. The only thought that I had during that tough year of 2005 was that I like to think that they and the rest of the Ball family are in heaven enjoying each others company.
Mary Sophia "Sophie'' Shappy, 84, of Rutland,VT died Tuesday morning, March 8, 2005, at her home surrounded by her family. At the time of her death she was survived by her husband, three daughters, Terry Shappy-Cherry and her husband Richard of Rutland, Susan Mason and her husband Ken of Lyndonville, Vt., and Joanne Blanchard of Rutland; one son, Richard W. Shappy and his wife, Rachel Plant, of New Haven, Vt.; one brother, Bernard J. Ball of Rye, N.Y.; seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by three brothers, Cornelius Ball, Joseph Ball Jr., and Cornelius S. Ball; and by two sisters, Gertrude (Ball) Ward and Dora (Ball) Gilbert.
1940 Census, 1938 Rye High School Yearbook, Enlistment Records, Obituary
Enlisted as Sergeant in Womens Army Corps, Rye High School Graduate, class of 1938
Mary S. Shappy Mary Sophia Sophie'' Shappy, 84, of Rutland, died Tuesday morning, March 8, 2005, at her home surrounded by her family. She was born in Rye, N.Y., january 4, 1921, the daughter of oseph and Teresa (Burns) Ball. She was a graduate of Rye High School in Rye, N.Y. Mrs. Shappy was a First Sergeant in the Women's Army Corp during World War II. She was married August 5, 1944, to Vincent A. Shappy of Rutland. Surviving are her husband of Rutland three daughters, Terry Shappy-Cherry and her husband Richard of Rutland, Susan Mason and her husband Ken of I.yndonville, Vt., and Joanne Blanchard of Rutland; one son, Richard W. Shappy and his wife, Rachel Plant, of New Haven, Vt.; one brother, Bernard J. Ball of Rye, N.Y.; seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by three brothers, Cornelius Ball, Joseph Ball Jr., and Cornelius S. Ball; and by two sisters, Gertrude (Ball) Ward and Dora (Ball) Gilbert. Funeral services will be held Friday at 11:30 a.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Rutland. Officiating will be the Rev. Francis Prive, pastor. Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Clifford Funeral Home in Rutland. Contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be made to Rutland Area Visiting Nurse-Hospice, P.O. Box 787, Rutland VT 05702.