Marvin Martin Ward, 94, died on Monday, November 10, 2008 at the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, at Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem with the Reverend Jack B. Yarbrough officiating. The family will receive friends in Centenary’s Memorial Hall following the service.
Marvin was born on February 10, 1914, in Morrison, Virginia, to Charles T. and Nora B. Martin Ward. His father died when Marvin was very young; his mother taught fifth grade and reared her four children in East Bend, North Carolina.
Marvin was named Valedictorian when he graduated from East Bend High School in 1930. He received a B.S. degree in Mathematics and Science from Appalachian State Teachers College in 1934 and a Masters Degree in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1940.
He began his career teaching physics and mathematics in Cabarrus County in 1934; in 1937, he began teaching at R. J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem. One year, ten of the top twenty scores in the state physics contest were earned by his students. He also taught physics during the summers of 1943 and 1944 at UNC-Chapel Hill. He coached state championship golf teams and girls’ basketball before being named Assistant Principal at Reynolds.
He served as Principal of Granville Elementary School for three years. He was named Administrative Assistant Superintendent in 1949 and as Assistant Superintendent in 1955, supervising the construction of many Winston-Salem schools. He was appointed as Superintendent of the Winston-Salem City Schools in 1962 and worked hard to promote consolidation efforts. He served as Superintendent of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System from 1963 until his retirement in 1976.
Marvin was elected to the North Carolina Senate in 1979 and represented Forsyth County for 16 years. He sponsored important legislation for North Carolina’s Basic Education Plan and Career Ladder Plan and chaired the Education Appropriations Committee.
He served on the Board of Stewards, as a Sunday School Teacher and as a Sunday School Superintendent at Centenary United Methodist Church. He was a Life Member of the American Association of School Administrators, a 50-year plus member of the Winston-Salem Lions Club, and a past president of the Ardmore Community Club.
Leadership awards and commendations were presented to Marvin by many education and mental health organizations. In 1999, Appalachian State University created the Rhododendron Society to recognize alumni for outstanding professional accomplishments and contributions to education; Marvin was one of the first six recipients. In 2000, the Marvin Ward Elementary School was dedicated in his honor.
His favorite pastimes included golf, fishing, woodcarving and travel. His favorite place was the front porch of Piney Point Cabin on the Shallotte River.
Marvin was preceded in death by his parents, by his brother Charles Thomas Ward and a sister, Mrs. C. W. (Winnie) Hobson.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary June Darden Ward of the home in Greensboro and by his sister, Mrs. Fred Dixon (Evelyn) Williams of Winston-Salem; his daughter, Elizabeth Darden (Betty) and her husband Benjamin Cone Jr. of Greensboro; his son, Marvin Thomas and his wife Brenda of Palm Coast, Florida; grandsons, Benjamin Cone III and Samuel Martin Cone and his wife Trina; and great granddaughter, Darden Elizabeth Cone, all of Charlotte; nine first cousins and eight nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank those who provided loving care for Marvin, including Linda Starke, Lisa Johnson, Sharon Wright, Barbara Warren and the medical teams from 4700 and 4500 at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital and Palliative Care of Greensboro.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Centenary United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 658, Winston-Salem, NC 27102 or to The Marvin M. Ward Scholarship Fund, North Carolina School of the Arts Foundation, 1533 South Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27127. Salem Funeral & Cremation Services is assisting the Ward family. Online condolences may be made through www.salemfh.com.