Anna Marie Ward Was Caring, Creative Person

Anna Marie Ward died peacefully on Jan. 29 at Windemere in Oak Bluffs, where she had been a resident since May of 2001.

She will always be remembered by those who loved her and knew her best as a caring, creative and involved person whose impact upon their lives can never be forgotten. She was born in 1912 in Boston's South End to John Baptiste Howard and Nellie Adie Walker Howard. As a young woman, she helped in the family market. She was a product of the public schools of Boston, and as a teenager, worked as a waitress at Nan's Kitchen.

At the age of 23, in 1935, she married Ralph (Stody) Ward, and they moved to Central Square in Cambridge. He preceded her in death in 1987. Two sons were born of this union, Ralph Anthony Ward and Rodney Stephen Ward. Their devotion to their mother was an enduring presence until the very end of her life.

In addition to rearing two active boys, Marie found time to be of service in the Silver Threads Club, the Salvation Army, Cambridge Golden Rule Women's Club and St. Mary's Catholic Church in Boston. In the interim, she created a home business, Marie's Draperies, that enabled her to produce a number of related household items. Too, she was employed as an outreach counselor in the EEOC department of the city of Cambridge.

Before his death, Marie and her husband moved to North Cambridge. Later, in 1983, she moved to Wareham on Cape Cod. She was no less involved in community activities there. She attended the Wareham Senior Center and the Elder Day Care Program in Marion.

Marie and her family had been a summer residents of Oak Bluffs since 1947. She was involved with the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging during her time at the Gorham avenue family home.

She is survived by her sons, Ralph of Wareham and Rodney of Oak Bluffs; a brother, Joseph Link Howard of Natick; a daughter in law, Bonita Miranda Ward; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; eight step-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother, John Baptist Howard; her brother Joseph's wife, Agnes; and John's wife, Josephine.

A memorial service was held for Marie at the chapel at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital at Windemere on Feb. 12. The St. Margaret's Catholic Church in Bourne will be the setting for a wake and memorial service on Saturday, Feb. 21. The wake will be held from 9 until 10:30 a.m. The service will be held at 11 a.m.

The family has suggested that those who wish may make donations in her memory to the fund that has been established for a new van for Windemere residents.