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Ella Mae Ward

Ella Mae Ward passed away on April 2, 2020.  
Her abundant life of 104 years was celebrated on April 6, 2020, at Lake Ridge Chapel. 
Ella Mae was born on October 9, 1915, in Temple, Oklahoma, to Reverend Jefferson Monroe and Lula Christian Sutherland. 
Her father was instrumental in leading her to accept Christ as her savior at the age of six years.
She was born into a family of 12, being the next to the youngest child. 
Ella Mae and her family moved from Temple, Oklahoma to Walters Community and settled in Petersburg, Texas, at the age of nine years. 
She graduated from Petersburg High School at the age of 16 years. 
She married Charlie Ben Ward on November 12, 1933, in Clovis where the young couple lived until moving to Ropesville  in 1938. 
Ella Mae taught at the Baptist Mexican Missionary for 16 years, after which she taught Sunday School at Ropesville Baptist Church for 33 years. 
She served on the board of the local Baptist Church of The Baptist Women’s Union and the W. M. U. South Plains Baptist Association for many years. 
In 2014, she received a plaque honoring her 75 years of service with the Lion’s Club of Ropesville. 
She was a member of First Baptist Church of Ropesville since 1938, a resident of Ropes since 1938, and was the last surviving resident of the Ropesville Resettlement project set forth by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.  
The Ward’s chicken house was moved and is on display as an original part of the Resettlement project at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture. 
Ella Mae attended South Plains College after her children were grown and married. 
She was a substitute teacher at Frenship ISD for 10 years. 
Ella Mae, as a music enthusiast, learned to play the piano. She was a seamstress and made children’s clothing. 
Ella Mae also enjoyed working in the yard, canning, bird watching, traveling, fellowship with friends  and she loved spending time with her family. 
Survivors include her children: Gerald Ward and wife, Genell and Sandra Ayers; son-in-law, Jimmy Jameson Sims; seven grandchildren: Steven Sims and wife, Laura; Alisa Rae Collier, Julee Reardon and husband, Rick; Jill Teran and husband, Rick; Keith Ayers and wife, Jamie; Sonya Hill and husband, David; and Keila Ketchersid and husband, Tanner; 14 great-grandchildren: Kristin Schweers and husband, Brandon; Shannon Ware and husband, Matt; Charlie Abram and wife, Ashleigh; Lindsey LeFevre, and husband, Brennen; Landry Teran, Amber Stafford, Ashly, Jacob, and Hannah Ayers; Hope Estrada and husband, Jeff; Kallie, Tye, and Rylan Ketchersid; Kerry Collier and wife, Elizabeth; and Kami Sutton and husband, Randy; and 11 great-great-grandchildren. 
She was preceded in death by her parents, Reverend Jefferson Monroe and Lula Christian Sutherland; husband, Charlie Ben Ward; daughter, Charlene Doris Sims; son-in-law, Ronnie Ayers; grand-son-in-law, Kirk Collier; and great-grandson, Jeremy Ayers. 
The family of Ella Mae Ward has designated the First Baptist Baptist Church of Ropesville for memorial contributions donated in her memory.

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