Nathan D. Ward, Jr. passed from his life on earth into the loving hands of God on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at Life Care Center in Elizabethton, two days before he would have celebrated his 79th birthday.
Nathan was the son of the late N.D., Sr. and Sarah Tester Ward. He was born in Johnson County and graduated from Johnson County High School in 1952. Nathan married the love of his life, the late Julia Fenner Ward on August 29, 1954 and they celebrated their 55th anniversary two days before her death on August 31, 2009.
Nathan and Julia moved to Elizabethton in 1956 to work and raise their family. He was immersed into Christ at West Side Christian Church 1958. Nathan was a devoted member and served as past custodian, boy’s Sunday School teacher, and deacon. He attended faithfully until his health kept him from going. He loved his church family and will always be remembered for his quite ways and loving heart.
He worked various jobs in Elizabethton before starting at Beaunit (North American Rayon) in 1965 as a boiler operator, retiring in 1998. He then worked at Jiffy Cleaners until his full retirement in 2000.
Along with his parents and wife, he was also preceded in death by a brother, Lee Ward and sisters June Swift, Hazel Vaught, and Sarah Shepard. His father and mother-in-law, Arthur Sr. and Edith Fenner, brothers-in-law, Rod Swift, Bert Norris, Toy Vaught, Giles Long, Clifford Church, Jack Scott, Frank Fenner, James Fenner, Stanley Woody, and sisters-in-law Louise Williams Charsha and Charlotte Ward.
Left behind to miss him, but rejoice that they will be reunited one day are his children, Kathy McAmis and fiancé Danny Honaker, Johnson City, and Beverly and Bryce McKinney, Elizabethton, with whom he lived; grandchildren, Lance and Heather McCloud, Bristol, TN, Scott and Claudia McCloud, Aurora, IL, SSgt. James Brandon and Amber McKinney, Abilene, Texas and his “sweet pea” Brenna McKinney Smith and husband, Joseph Smith, Elizabethton; great-grandchildren, his “little angel”, Hannah McCloud, Aurora, IL, Jake and Alexandria McKinney, Abilene, Texas, Devon and Elijah Church, Hampton; brothers and sister-in-law, Hill and Jan Ward, Mountain City and Conrad Ward, Myrtle Beach, S.C.; sisters Dixie Norris, Nola Church and Goldia Scott, Elizabethton; His Fenner family, Mary Woody, Jane and Sonny McCormick and Art and Pam Fenner. Many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews also survive.
Anyone who knew Nathan, or Junior as he was known to family and close friends, knew that his love for his family was only surpassed by his love for God.
A celebration of life service for Nathan D. Ward, Jr. will be held at Memorial Funeral Chapel on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. with Dr. Greg Key and Todd Burleson officiating. Music will be provided by his niece, Suzanne Elliott and Scott Reynolds. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until the time of the service. Burial and entombment will be at Happy Valley Memorial Cemetery in the Sermon on the Mount Section following the service. Active pallbearers will be Luther McKeehan, Bob Elliott, Alan Grindstaff, Jim Barnes and nephews Robert Norris, James Norris, Michael Norris, and Gary Elliott. Honorary pallbearers are the member of West Side Christian Church, special friends, Ted and Janice Hamilton, Luther and Beverly McKeehan, Earl and Dora Williams, Lynn and Libby Simerly, Charles and Shirley VonCannon, Van and Rachel Woodby, Dick and Glenda Oatman, Tony and Brenda Hyder, former co-workers of the Power House from North American Rayon, classmates of the 1952 graduating class of Johnson County High School and neighbors, Marvin and Phyllis Grindstaff , Jeff and Maxine Deloach, Miles and Joan McCloud, James and Rachel Phipps and his nursing home prayer warrior, Bobby Bradshaw.
The family would like to thank the staff at Sycamore Shoals ER and ICU, Dr. Adams, Dr. Diaz, P.A. Joely and all of the nurses who attended him during his stay there, Life Care staff, nurses Maria, Amanda, Trula and Jessica, P.A. Ann and the numerous other LPN’s and CNA’s who so carefully and caringly provided for his needs and Dr. Anna Broome Gilbert for her loving care and concern.
In lieu of flowers the family request donations to West Side Christian Church general fund or Faith Promise, 1307 W. G. Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643 or the Alzheimer’s Association. Condolences may be e-mailed to mfc@ chartertn.net.
Memorial Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.