Loretha Faith Ward (’85)

Loretha “Retha” Faith Doyle Ward (1937-2020), passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning, March 18th at 2:25 a.m. in Frisco, Texas, surrounded by members of her loving family. She is preceded in death by her parents, baby boy Allen Ward, and husband Jerry Don Ward. Born November 19, 1937 to Rev. Allen and Lois Doyle in Price, Texas, she was the first child and only daughter. Loretha was a talented pianist and organist and as a young lady would travel with her father to his speaking engagements where she would play and sing and he would preach. As an organist and dedicated church musician she played for many churches at services, weddings and other functions. Her musical abilities brought joy and soothed the souls of many over the years. Loretha met the love of her life, Jerry Don Ward, at the tender age of four years in Jacksonville, Texas. They played together as children but lost contact as they grew older and the Doyle family moved to another pastorate. As the Lord directed their steps, they met again as teenagers at a youth camp in Lufkin, Texas. They were married on October 13, 1956 and celebrated 54 years of marriage. She had a love for learning and earned her bachelor’s and master of education degrees from The University of Houston. As a dedicated teacher for more than 25 years, she taught school at Irvington Christian Academy and in the Aldine, Magnolia, and Cy-Fair public school systems. She held a reading specialization and was a published author multiple times as a contributor to an educator’s language-arts manual. Retha had a strong faith and supported her husband devotedly as they traveled the U.S. as young newlyweds evangelizing the gospel of Christ. For over 40 years they pastored churches in Seabrook, Silsbee, Paris, and Houston, Texas. Her life was lived in service to God; her family, her community and countless lives were transformed under her influence. Her exceptional skills in the kitchen were enjoyed by many, but most of all by her family. She had no rivals when it came to her homemade dressing at holiday time, fried quail on Christmas morning with homemade biscuits and gravy, shrimp gumbo or her many other specialties! Her family is comforted in knowing that she is now reunited with the love of her life, nine long years after Jerry’s passing, and her baby boy Allen. What a sweet reunion it must be. Loretha is survived by two children: daughter Kimberly Ward and son Jerry Don Ward II and wife Jacquie. She is additionally survived by three grandchildren: Mallorie Ward, Jonathan Ward, Steven Sanchez and wife Brenda as well as two great grand-children and her brother Benny Doyle. Her loving extended family includes brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and a host of nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank our church families for their love and support over the years and specifically during the time of our mom’s illness. Grace Church pastors and staff and the Oasis group loved and cared for our mom in a beautiful way. Her special friends of the Ladies Bible Study, at Cypress Bible Church, and the million little things they did and ways they brought sunshine into mom’s life will never be forgotten. Heartland Church embraced her fully upon her recent move to Frisco, Texas and the warmth and love she received added such joy to her last days. The family also wishes to acknowledge and thank Good-Shepherd Hospice and specifically nurse Cathy Adams and aid Lisa Clemons for their loving compassionate care for our sweet mother during her final days. A private burial will occur at West Shady Grove Cemetery near Jacksonville, Texas where she will be laid beside her husband. A Memorial Service will occur at a later date in Houston. The family request in lieu of flowers, friends consider a donation to Grace Bridge, c/o The Heartland Church, 4020 Nazarene, Carrollton, TX, 75010 or https://theheartlandchurch.com/give/ .

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