Helen L. Ward
Oct 28, 2013
Helen L. Ward
Oct. 28, 2013
Helen L. Ward, 83, a longtime resident of McMinn County and a loving wife, mother and grandmother, died Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, at Woods Memorial Hospital after a short illness.
A native of the Bronx in New York City, Helen fell in love with the hills of Tennessee and its friendly residents after meeting her husband, Bob, on a blind date in New York City and moving south. She was something of a pioneer for her times since she began college while her two children were in middle school and high school, attending Tennessee Wesleyan College, where she received her degree in education, and then later, being awarded a master\'s degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
She spent her entire teaching career at Mountain View School, where she taught fourth grade for more than two decades. She was known for her academic rigor and the creative projects that allowed her students to develop their artistic talents.
Upon her retirement, she was a member and president of the McMinn County Retired Teachers Association. She and Bob enjoyed many evenings following the Big Orange football team and the Lady Vols basketball team. She loved getting decked out in her orange and white regalia in support of those fiercely competitive women athletes, and cherished an autographed ticket from Coach Pat Head.
Helen was a longtime member of Keith Memorial United Methodist Church, and rarely missed Sunday services. Her church and service to others were very important to her. Friends and family often noted her thoughtfulness in sending cards and notes of encouragement to others who were sick or elderly.
An avid history buff, she traced the lineage of her family and her husband\'s family and initiated the annual Carver family reunion in order to bring together far-flung family members who could reminisce and catch up on current events in their own lives. Additionally, she researched and wrote \"School Days! School Days!,\" a book about the early days of education in McMinn County. Not only did she interview many of the surviving teachers and students who attended those schools, but she won a prize for that publication from the East Tennessee Historical Society.
She loved gardening, watching the birds that came to the feeders in her backyard, spending time with her golden retrievers and having visits with her beloved grandsons. Although she may never have completely lost her Yankee accent, she was a Tennessean in her heart and soul.
The middle daughter of Peter and Emma Leik of New York City, Helen was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Robert E. Ward; infant son, James P. Ward; and two sisters, Catherine and Louise.
She is survived by her daughter, Barbara A. Ward, who lives in Pullman, Wash.; her son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Cindy Ward of Etowah; grandsons, Tyler Ward of Etowah, and Bradley Ward of Knoxville; and her beloved relatives from her husband\'s family.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31, in the South Chapel of Bordwine Funeral Home with the Rev. Ty Harrison officiating.
Interment will follow the service in Jones Chapel Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 6 to 8 p.m.
If you are unable to attend, you may sign the guest registry at www.bordwinefuneralhome.com
Bordwine Funeral Home of Etowah is in charge of arrangements.