LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- A bittersweet day. Greetings, tears, hugs and 500 new shirts.
“I don't know if he would've worn the pink,” Sherry Ballard laughed. “He would've been very proud of the shirts.”
Sunday will mark one year since Sherry lost her husband Tommy who was shot and killed when he left to go hunting with their grandson.
“I remember I was getting ready to go back to bed because it was early and I said out loud, 'God, please watch over them out in the woods,’” Sherry said.
Tommy was Sherry's partner, especially when it came to searching for their daughter Crystal Rogers who went missing in July 2015. Police have previously said they believe Rogers was killed. But with the case unsolved, Ballard never missed a moment to remind people about his daughter--wearing the customized shirts made in her honor.
“He wore them every day. I think the only time I didn't see him in one of those was maybe at church on Sunday--I'm not teasing. That's the only time. We actually put one of those on him when he passed away,” Sherry said.
That's why it's only fitting that Sherry picked up the newest shipments of the shirts just in time to remember her late husband on Sunday.
“It's like a year of my life just vanished. It's been so hard. I don't know...I just don't know how I'm going to feel,” Sherry said.
But Sherry says it's the love and kindness of others that keeps her going and the shirts say it all. “You are not forgotten. Hope remains.”
A search for her daughter Sherry will continue to honor her husband.
“We're never going to give up hope. One day I'm going to bring her home,” Sherry said.
Sherry says the reward has been increased to help solve Tommy's case. She says his brothers put together that reward and it's now up to $20,000. Kentucky State Police are still investigating this case.
There will be a special service for Tommy at the St. Thomas Church in Bardstown on Sunday at 7 p.m.