Kim E. Ward died peacefully on August 14. She was 56.

She was known as a courageous star burning bright from the beginning. She chose courage early and had a deep sense of life’s complexities early on. She gave birth to her first child by herself at 15 years old. She had the humility to take life as it is and try to make the best out of any situation. She kept her light glowing strong with a mix of grit, authenticy, style, humor and love.

She grew up on Love Lane in the north end of Hartford, Conn. She was an avid reader who attended public and private schools. She studied psychology at the University of Connecticut, substance abuse counseling at UMass Boston and earned an associate’s degree in human services from North Shore Community College.

Kim was a lover of art, culture, language and travel. She had an uncanny ability in the kitchen. She worked many jobs in many places and seemed to be known by all. She had worked at the Colt Factory in Hartford, as a recovery counselor, a receptionist, an electrical apprentice, a postal worker, a school aide, hair stylist, at Panera Bread, and others. On Martha’s Vineyard she worked for the Wampanoag tribe in Aquinnah, the Steamship Authority, the highway department and as a taxi dispatch. Recently, she was a beloved home health aid in Connecticut.

Her art was life. She was dynamic, had a way with words and could talk with people about anything. Wherever Kim was and whoever she was around, there was bound to be laughter. Her hair was always an expression. Her car steering wheel had diamonds in it. Spirituality was her lifeline.

She is survived by her two loving children, Amber and James; her father, Norman; sisters Megan and Roxanne; and many cousins, relatives and friends. She was predeceased by her mother, Anne P. Jennings, in 2016 and her husband, Ken Ward, in 2019.

An informal gathering will be held at Swift Factory on Love Lane in Hartford, Conn. A memorial will be held Saturday, Sept. 10 at Union Baptist Church in Hartford, Conn. A memorial on the Vineyard will be held at a later date.

For donations and/or information on her Island memorial, contact her family at 424-634-8168 or