LeFLORE – Edith Sue Ward, 79, of LeFlore passed from this earth on Jan. 30, 2021 at her home.
Services are 3 p.m., Wednesday at the First Baptist Church of LeFlore with Bro. Tracy Lloyd & Marion Fry officiating. Services are under the direction of Evans & Miller Funeral Home.
She was the second of four daughters born to Claud and Imogene (Owens) Welch on July 25, 1941 in Wister. On June 3, 1961, she married the love of her life, Johnny Ward. They shared 49 years together prior to his death on Jan. 15, 2011. She graduated from LeFlore High school in 1959, Eastern Oklahoma State College in 1961, and Northeastern Oklahoma State College in 1963. She began her teaching career in Buffalo Valley and taught in Albion before moving back to LeFlore in 1973 to teach third grade and continued to teach at LeFlore for over 35 years before retirement. Retirement didn’t last long and she returned to education as a teacher and teacher’s aide at Wister for several more years. She enjoyed being a coach’s wife and connected with the athletes in many ways, whether doing laundry, serving meals, or lending an ear.
She was an active member of the First Baptist Church and served as teacher, treasurer and song leader through the years. She sang as long as her health allowed. She was a proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and enjoyed the many activities offered by the Poteau Senior Center. She was Choctaw Outstanding Elder for District 4 in 2011.
She is survived by her children Susan and James Cantwell of Fort Smith, Arkansas and Anthony Ward of Paige, Texas; her grandsons Michael and Stephanie Cantwell and their children Amara, Chloe, and Kyle of Poteau; Matthew Cantwell of LeFlore and his children Adrianna and Emerson, and Spencer Ward and his mother, Tammy Ward, of San Antonio, Texas; sisters Shirley Ward and Claudette Hamner, both of Heavener; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents Claud and Imogene; her husband, Johnny; her baby boy, “Big Al” John Alan Ward, in 1991; and her sister and brother-in-law Brenda and Jackie Sweeten; and brother-in-law, Bill Ward.
Pallbearers are Mark and Bryan Warren, Gary Gibson, John E. McAlester, John P. McAlester and Keith O’Neal. Honorary pallbearers are Jason Herell, Michael Cantwell, Matthew Cantwell and Spencer Ward.
The family will be at the funeral home for visitation Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m.
If any former students wish to pay tribute, simply drop a freshly sharpened pencil WITH YOUR NAME ON IT in the bucket at either the funeral home, her home, or the church. Pencils and a sharpener will be available at each location.
You may leave an online message at evansandmillerfuneralhomes.com.