Mary Gordon Ward (Gordie) passed away February 25, 2020 at the Care Center at Kenton Pointe in Maysville, Kentucky. She was the daughter of the late Dr. John Elwood and Mary Burnaugh Wood Gillespie of May’s Lick.
She graduated from May’s Lick High School in 1941 and the University of Kentucky in 1945. Mary taught English and Social Science at the Lewisburg Junior High School. She returned to UK for graduate study in Clinical Psychology in 1946 while working as a psychologist at Eastern State Hospital in Lexington.
While at UK she married Darrell E. Ward on June 24, 1947 and went with him to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where they lived for 11 years. Later they moved to Champaign, Illinois where she became a member of First United Methodist Church and taught in the First Methodist Pre-School.
The American Association of University Women became a life- long interest. She became the membership chair of the Champaign Branch.
In 1974, she moved to Richmond, Kentucky and became active in the AAUW Branch, the Richmond Woman’s Club, the League of Women Voters, served on the Patty A. Clay Hospital Citizens Advisory Board and belonged to the EKU Woman’s Organization. She was the State Legislative Chair, the State Membership Chair and the AAUW Bulletin Editor. She was an activist in the Women’s Equal Rights movement and was a member of the Kentucky PRO-ERA, the National Women’s Political Caucus and the National Conference Committee.
After her husband retired, she lived quietly at May’s Lick. Survivors include four sons, Darrell T. Ward of May’s Lick, John (Carol) Ward of Pleasant View, TN, Dr. Robert (Danita) Ward of Statesville, NC, and Jim (Lynn) Ward of May’s Lick; six grandchildren, Laura (Lee) Bracey, Rachel Vigneaux, Aaron Ward, Madeline Ward, Andrew Ward, and Joseph Ward; three great-grandchildren, Isaac Vigneaux, Isabella Vigneaux, and Vivienne Bracey. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Ms. Vera Wood Gillespie, Ms. Elizabeth Gillespie, and Mrs. Evelyn Cropper.
Graveside service will be conducted at 3 P.M. on Saturday, March 14, 2020 in the May’s Lick Cemetery with Dr. Michael Rice officiating. Burial will follow. Palmer Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the family. Condolences to www.palmerfuneralhome.net
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