Brown-Wynne Funeral Home & Crematory

300 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh, NC


Melissa 'Missy' Paige Ward

April 10, 1966May 14, 2020

Melissa Paige Ward 'Missy', 54 years of age, died May 14, 2020.

Missy lived her whole life in Raleigh, NC. Missy swam before she walked and continued by taking swimming lessons at age 3. She joined the Summer Team at age 4 and year round swim team at the YWCA at age 8.

Missy loved her dog Sadie and also loved the beach, the sand, and the ocean. At the age of 2, her father built her family a house at Lake Gaston, which introduced her to boating, sailing, and skiing as a child. Melissa was an excellent athlete even as a young child; swinging on the rope swings and trees in the back yard. Missy qualified for the triathlon in Hawaii for 3 years when she was a teenager. She also ran with the Junior Striders Running Team in her teens. Missy took music lessons from Marilyn Brown for ten years. She graduated from Millbrook High School, where she ran cross country and track, and from East Carolina University with a degree in Sports Medicine.

Melissa is survived by her parents Bill and Betty Lou Ward of Raleigh; her brother Jeffrey and wife Marte of Wilmington, NC; Jeffrey's stepchildren Ashley and husband Chris Woolley of Raleigh and her younger sister Sarah and husband Michael Phelps of Wilmington, NC; and uncle Sterling Cofield and wife Lori of St. Augustine, Fla. Missy is also survived by her cousins, Brent Cofield and wife Jackie; Christopher and wife Madison of St. Augustine Fla.; and cousins David Nash and wife Abbey of Charlotte, NC. Missy had countless friends down through the years.

Due to the current gathering restrictions presented by the coronavirus, a celebration of life will be planned at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Children's Home Society of North Carolina, P.O. Box 14608, Greensboro, NC 27415.

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne, 300 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh.


  • Due to the current gathering restrictions presented by the coronavirus, a celebration of life will be planned at a later date.


Melissa 'Missy' Paige Ward

have a memory or condolence to add?

Angela Haas

May 20, 2020

Mr. and Mrs. Ward: Thank you. Thank you for being such loving parents. There was never any doubt how much you loved and cherished Missy. I write these words for you, so that you know what she meant to me, and to share with others a glimpse of Missy through my eyes and heart. “Missy”. No one ever says “Missy who?” Anyone that ever knew Missy, knew there was only one. From elementary school, through middle school and high school, Missy was my best friend. All through the years, we shared so many memories of great times, sad times, triumphant times, and times when we were just trying to figure out the places where we fit in this world. She seemed to fit everywhere. Mostly, we spent our time together celebrating whatever was going on at the time (there was a lot to celebrate over those years!). I never heard her speak ill of anyone, even if she wanted to, she would just pause and say “Anyway…” and change the subject. We reconnected periodically over the years that followed, and she would always ask about what I was up to and how my parents and siblings were doing. She shared her great strength throughout the years, and was honest about her struggles, but always with that twinkle in her eye that conveyed her positive nature and passion for life. She was a one-of-kind outgoing, athletic, beautiful young woman, who made us all feel special for having her in our lives. Missy, you will be missed and you will be remembered, for the special gift (yourself) you gave so graciously. Rest in eternal peace, my friend.

Pat Reed

May 19, 2020

We are so saddened to learn of the passing of your special daughter. Certainly we have so many wonderful memories of beautiful Missy. We do remember many happy times shared with this talented young woman. Please know that our prayers and thoughts are with you as you mourn this lose of this special person.
Our love, Jack and Pat Reed

Carolyn Cobb

May 19, 2020

It was my joy to have Missy as a friend. From the time we first met, we seemed to be able to share our joys and pains with each other - something you need with a true friend. She had an infectious smile and when she said "I love you", you know she meant it. I hope she knew I loved her as well. I am holding Betty Lou and Bill in my prayers and heart, hoping that they find comfort at this time knowing that she is resting in God's arms.

May God's love and blessings support and comfort you

Bonnie White

May 19, 2020

I am so very sorry for your loss.
Bonnie Fussell White

Woody and Doris Wilson

May 19, 2020

Dearest Betty Lou and Bill, We are so very sorry to learn of the passing of Missy. We hold you close in our hearts and in our prayers. God bless you...
in His love, Woody and Doris

Eric Kent

May 19, 2020

Missy use to school us guys in basketball at Brentwood school. And Tedder ball before school started. What an athlete.
Prayers go out to her family.
Eric Kent

Melanie (Brown) Stahmer

May 18, 2020

I am so sorry to hear of Missy’s passing! I remember our days swimming for Brentwood swim team and the YMCA! Other memories of growing up in Brentwood come to mind also. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers during this time! My God bless and keep you and wrap his arms around you!

Margaret and Chip Hutchins

May 18, 2020

Bill and Betty Lou, our Love and Prayers surround you. We certainly understand. We will never forget your kindness when Wendi became an Angel. We are sure she will welcome Missy with open arms. Take care of each other.

Jill Benda Countie

May 18, 2020

So sorry for your loss. I swam with Missy on TAR, and I remember Missy’s beautiful smile and outgoing personality. Praying for peace and comfort for your family💕

Marilyn Poole

May 18, 2020

Dear Bill & Betty Lou, We are so sorry for your loss of Missy. You and your family are in our prayers . God be with you all. Mike & Marilyn Poole (Durham)


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