Gary Ward

Dr. Gary Wayne Ward was born May 6, 1953, to Uless Dewey “Hob” and Bertha Dobbs Ward in Fayette County, Alabama. The youngest of a family of four sisters and one brother, he always had playmates and being the youngest was always the student. This proved to be instrumental in his developing a love for education. His mother died when he was ten years old, and his sisters helped raise him. The family lived on a farm and raised cattle and truck crops.
He graduated from Wayside Junior High in 1968, and from Winfield High in 1972. He attended Northwest Alabama Junior College and in 1976 he earned a B.S. in Agricultural Education from Mississippi State University. He loved college and he continued taking classes during his teaching career. He earned his M.S. degree from MSU in 1978 and his Ed. Spec. degree in 1989. In 2002, he was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in Agricultural Education. During his years at Mississippi State, he was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.
Dr. Ward taught Vocational Agriculture for 30 years at Richland High School; in Essex, Missouri, Dothan Vocational Center, and Winfield High School. Dr. Ward strived to develop in his students independent thinking skills and work skills that would allow them to get a good job. His students were always building shop projects and practicing for FFA Judging Contests. His FFA teams were very successful, but he was proudest of the students who earned college degrees in agriculture.
In 1985, Dr. Ward and Lynwood Hamilton founded the Marion County FFA Association. They developed land that the association owned, and the revenue was used to start a fund to grant scholarships, award prizes for FFA contests and to aid the Marion County FFA Chapters. He was twice president of the Winfield Education Association and was the leader in developing its annual scholarship and he was especially proud of starting the sick leave bank at Winfield City Schools.
In 1982, Dr. Ward was diagnosed with kidney disease and in 1989 began kidney dialysis. His sister, Freddie, worked as a nurse for Dr. James Moss and together they managed his health care and allowed him to continue teaching. In 1990, a 27-year-old woman from Tennessee lost her life in an automobile accident and her family donated a kidney to him. Thanks to that family and Dr. Arnold Diethelm at the UAB transplant center, his life was changed forever. His prayer would be that you register as an organ donor on your driver’s license.
In 1992, after a whirlwind 7-year romance, he married the love of his life, Rosa Aline Glasgow. Together they developed the family farm into a successful enterprise. During his retirement years, Rosa and he worked on the farm and grew and canned vegetables. Dr. Ward and his wife traveled all over the world, sightseeing, attending bluegrass festivals, Broadway musicals, shopping for antiques, and meeting new people. Dr. Ward and Rosa were “childfree”, but he was proud to be called “Uncle Gary” by his many nieces and nephews. He was always available for babysitting duties. Many of those nieces and nephews learned to work by helping out on the farm.
Dr. Ward is survived by sisters, Mary Chappell (Seaborn), Freddie Hull, and Frances Burns; sister-in-law, Sandy Ward; and a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews and other family members.
Dr. Ward was preceded in death by his wife, Rosa Glasgow Ward; his parents; siblings, Benjamin Ward, Dewey Ward, and Dorothy “Dot” Agee; and brothers-in-law, John Hull and Perry Burns.
Funeral services for Dr. Ward were held on April 19, 2024 from the Bowen Funeral Home Chapel with burial to follow in the Siloam Baptist Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Siloam Baptist Church Cemetery Fund at: 538 Siloam Rd, Winfield, AL 35594.
Bowen Funeral Home
981 State Highway 253
Winfield, AL  35594

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