Martha Black Ward

November 16, 1928 ~ May 3, 2024 (age 95)

Martha Black Ward, age 95, of Whiteville, NC, passed away peacefully at her residence on Friday, May 3, 2024.

Martha Black Ward, 95 left this world to be with her Lord on May 3, 2024. She was at peace. “Marty” was known for her heartwarming smile and every time one would enter the room, she would glow. Marty was born to the late Margaret and Boyce Black of Matthews, NC on November 16, 1928. She was the eldest of three siblings. One of Marty’s high school accomplishments was being the first female bus driver in Mecklenburg county (some say one of the first in the state). As a senior, Marty received the valedictorian award for her class. Marty graduated from Limestone College, where she earned a degree in education. Her first job was teaching fifth grade in Chadbourn, NC, a position which she loved. Marty met the love of her life in Chadbourn, Dr. E. Ben Ward and they married a year later in 1949.  After Ben completed his service with the US Army, they moved with their daughter, Dana Sue to Whiteville, NC in 1955 where Ben set up a dental practice.

Marty was a devout member of the Whiteville United Methodist Church. She served in the choir, volunteered for Vacation Bible School, United Methodist Women and the Sunshine Circle. Marty also loved attending Bible study. Serving as co-leader in the Brownie and Girl Scouts for her daughters, Marty always made time to volunteer at her children’s schools and activities. Marty had a love for nature and her yard was full of her favorites, especially camellias. She was a member of the Aza-Melia Garden Club for many years, including serving as a past president. The arranging of flowers was an art for her. She was also a member of the Ikebana Chapter of Wilmington. She displayed her beautiful arrangements in various flower shows.

Dr. and Mrs. Ben Ward were a part of the group of community members who founded Waccamaw Academy. Marty was involved in many aspects of the school. She was almost there daily! Her true love was watching her children participate in school sports. Marty was a “Waccamaw Warrior” at heart.

Marty was predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Dr. E. Ben Ward, brother Bobby Black and sister, Patricia Moore. Marty is survived by her brother, Dr. James Boyce Black, six nieces and nephews, daughter, Dana Ward Bunn, husband Dr. David G. Bunn, Jr. of Wilmington, NC; Margaret Ward Wallace, husband Dr. Stephen C. Wallace of Wilmington, NC; son, Dr. Ernie B. Ward, III and wife Kayla W. Ward of Whiteville, NC. Marty loved watching her grandchildren grow to young adults and they include: Caroline Bunn Mason, husband David F. Mason; David G. Bunn III; Sarah M. Wallace; Molly T. Wallace; Emory E. Ward; Katie Ward Stockley and husband Seth Stockley. She was also very proud of her great grandchildren: Ansley P. Mason; Brynn M. Bunn; D. Harrison Mason and Ward M. Stockley.

The Ward family appreciates the loving care that was given to our mother. First, we would like to thank Barbara Taylor for her many years of love and companionship. For the last six years, Marty had a special lady that was always by her side, Lucinda Turner who took care of Marty day and night with the help of her staff. We are so thankful for Cindy. Marty would always say “My Cindy” when she would speak of her.  Our thanks go out to Liberty Hospice and Liberty Home Health. We also give our appreciation to Dr. David Martin and a special nurse, Suzanne.

Family will receive guests in the fellowship hall at Whiteville United Methodist Church on Thursday, May 9, 2024, at 1:00 p.m.  A celebration of life will follow in the church at 2:00 p.m. A private graveside service will follow. Memorials may be made to Whiteville United Methodist Church or Liberty Hospice of Whiteville, NC.

McKenzie Mortuary, 112 Jefferson Street, Whiteville, NC is serving the Ward family.