Mary D. Ward
Published 9:23 am Tuesday, September 22, 2015
GREENSBORO, NC – Mary June Darden Ward, 99, died on Sunday, September 20, at Beacon Place in Greensboro.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 16, 2015, at Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem with the Reverend R. Craig Ford officiating. The family will receive friends in Centenary’s Memorial Hall following the service.
June was born on September 10, 1916, in Hertford County to Mary Gertrude Maddrey and Junius Hugh Darden of Mapleton, North Carolina.
June graduated from Murfreesboro High School in 1932. At age 16, she rode the train to Greensboro and matriculated at The Women’s College of the University of North Carolina. She earned her degree in Elementary Education in 1936.
She began her teaching career in Burlington; she also taught in Lewisville and Winston-Salem. June was courted by another young educator named Marvin Ward who ultimately became Superintendent of the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School System. They married in August of 1941 and reared two children, Betty and Tom. June’s mother, Mary Darden, lived with the family in Winston-Salem from 1950 to her death in 1982 at age 97.
June was an active member of the Colonel Joseph Winston Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, The Garden Study Club, The Women’s Club of Winston-Salem and the Centenary United Methodist Women, taking leadership roles and often, the treasurer’s post. She assisted Marvin in organizing a conference in Winston-Salem for the National School Superintendents Association. In the 1970’s, she led the project to stitch Avis Gallagher’s needlepoint designs as kneelers for the chancel rail at Centenary United Methodist Church.
Governor James B. Hunt appointed June to the Historic Murfreesboro Commission in 1994; she was named an Emeritus Member in 2010 by the Secretary of Cultural Resources. June was active in the Sir Walter Cabinet during the sixteen years that Marvin served as Senator from Forsyth County in the North Carolina Legislature in Raleigh. June and Marvin moved to Greensboro in 2005.
June’s favorite pastimes included reading, sewing and needlecraft, candle making, and travel. Some of her happiest times were spent babysitting her grandchildren and vacationing at Piney Point Cabin on the Shallotte River.
June was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Marvin, who died in 2008.
She is survived by her sister Derusha Darden Phillips of Burlington; her daughter, Elizabeth Darden (Betty) and her husband Benjamin Cone, Jr. of Greensboro; her son, Marvin Thomas and his wife Brenda of Palm Coast, Florida; grandson Benjamin Cone, III and Millie Maxwell of Raleigh; grandson Samuel Martin Cone and his wife Trina; great-granddaughter, Darden Elizabeth Cone, and great-grandson William Wortham Cone, all of Charlotte; four first cousins and eight nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank Linda Starke and Lisa Johnson who assisted June in remaining in her home along with the Home Instead caregivers Cynthia Cheek, Karen Dumbroski, Robin Fuller, Bernice Johnson, Janet Martin, Shaquita Mills, Natacha Nikokeza, Cora Simpson, and Evelyn Terry.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Mary June Darden Ward Scholarship at UNCG, P. O. Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402 or to Greensboro Hospice Care at Beacon Place, 2500 Summit Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27405 or to Centenary United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 658, Winston-Salem, NC 27102.
The family is being assisted by the Vogler Family and Salem Funerals & Cremations of Winston-Salem. Online condolences may be made to www.salemfh.com.