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Parkway Funeral Home & Parkway Memorial Cemetery

1161 Highland Colony Pkwy, Ridgeland, MS

OBITUARY

Mary Lanelle "Nell" Ward

December 5, 1925December 24, 2019
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Mary Lanelle ”Nell” Smith Ward, age 94, passed peacefully into the next chapter of her life on December 24, 2019. She was with family members at home with Tennessee Ernie Ford singing her favorite gospel hymns as she transitioned. Nell was born in Columbia, MS on December 5, 1925 to Cournel Radford Smith and Vera Mae Dixon Smith Jones. Nell was reared in McComb, MS, active in high school basketball and choir, editor of the high school paper, as well as being the Homecoming Queen! She graduated as the Valedictorian of Fernwood High School and president of the senior class. All achieved while assisting her mother in the country grocery store her father had established and helping with younger siblings. She found love of God and the church early in life and loved to sing in the choir. She never met a stranger and was kind and generous to a fault. Nell was an humble person, considerate, and had a kind word for everyone. She graduated from Millsaps College where she majored in Psychology. While attending Millsaps, she met and married fellow Millsaps student and the love of her life, George Lafayette Ward, Jr. Nell and George later graduated from the Dale Carnegie program. Nell was employed as a legal secretary for Eugene Caldwell, Satterfield Shell and Locke D. Barkley law firms among others, and was a highly regarded professional. She also worked as a church secretary and later as the administrative assistant to a surgeon. Nell and family attended St. Luke’s, Alta Woods, Epworth, and Briarwood United Methodist churches. She was a devoted choir member, loved her women’s circle meetings and the fellowship of Sunday School. As a longtime Avon products representative, Nell spread her joy in life. Nell was predeceased by her parents, husband, brothers Millard and Paul Smith, sister Joyce Smith Holloway, and sister-in-law Alice Corkern Smith. She is survived by sister Helen Smith Wells of Mobile, son George Timothy “Tim” Ward, Sr. (Cap) of Jackson, MS, daughter Mary Jacquelyn “Jaci” Ward, Ph.D. (John V. Richardson) of Brentwood, TN, grandsons George T. Ward, Jr. of Jackson, MS, John D. Richardson (Kelly) and Chris Hill (Brie Robinson) of Nashville, TN, Michael V. Richardson of Owings Mill, MD, and, granddaughter Josie Furr Doyle (James) of Page, AZ. Nell had four great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren, primarily in Page, AZ. Memorial contributions may be made to: Briarwood United Methodist Church or Millsaps College, both located in Jackson, MS. Visitation will be at Parkway Funeral Home in Ridgeland, MS from 3:00 to 5:00pm on Thursday, January 2nd. Parkway address is 1161 Highland Colony Pkwy., Ridgeland, MS. The funeral is planned for Friday, January 3rd at Briarwood United Methodist Church, 320 Briarwood Drive in Jackson. Visitation will be at 12noon, with the Service at 1:00pm. The committal service will follow immediately at the church. There will not be a graveside service at Lakewood Memorial Park, due to road construction within the cemetery. However, those wishing to accompany Nell on this “last mile” of her journey may gather there for an opportunity to say good-bye & pay last respects. The minister of Briarwood UMC will lead a short service, with time for personal memories or remarks. Those attending will gather under a pavilion inside the entrance to Lakewood Memorial Park, 6000 Clinton Blvd. in Jackson. The family suggests that you wear something with a touch of red to represent our love for Nell and her vivacious spirit.

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, January 2, 2020
  • Visitation Friday, January 3, 2020
  • Funeral Service Friday, January 3, 2020

Memories

Mary Lanelle "Nell" Ward

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Martha Mills

January 1, 2020

Wonderful video presentation. Jaci and Nell share an elegant look and style plus those trademark cheekbones! I only met Nell a few times....at John and Jaci's wedding ..... She was radiant and so very full of Grace. You are fortunate to have known her gentle soul. May it now soar!

Martha in California

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

After Easter Brunch 2019 with son-in-law John Richardson, daughter Jaci Ward with sisters Audrey Ramsey & Celestine Ramsey.

Wonderful time with dear friends on a special Sunday..

FROM THE FAMILY

Nell, George, Tim & Jaci on Easter Sunday years ago.

FROM THE FAMILY

Leaving Bessie Bruno's after another perfect, gala gathering.

Feeling fantastic & filled with joy after being with special friends!!

FROM THE FAMILY

Meeting Arun Gandhi on his speaking tour at Unity of Nashville.

Arun Gandhi is the 5th grandson of Mahatma.

FROM THE FAMILY

Easter Sunday a few years ago at Brentwood United Methodist Church with John & Jaci.

FROM THE FAMILY

Living the life in 1983 on a Caribbean cruise!!!

FROM THE FAMILY

With Bessie Bruno after enjoying another delightful party at her home!

Love that gracious hostess!!

FROM THE FAMILY

Following a "lunch date" at Rafferty's in Nashville with Monica Smith. Both beautiful in purple!

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

After Easter Brunch 2019 with son-in-law John Richardson, daughter Jaci Ward with sisters Audrey Ramsey & Celestine Ramsey.

Wonderful time with dear friends on a special Sunday..

FROM THE FAMILY

Nell, George, Tim & Jaci on Easter Sunday years ago.

FROM THE FAMILY

Leaving Bessie Bruno's after another perfect, gala gathering.

Feeling fantastic & filled with joy after being with special friends!!

FROM THE FAMILY

Meeting Arun Gandhi on his speaking tour at Unity of Nashville.

Arun Gandhi is the 5th grandson of Mahatma.

FROM THE FAMILY

Easter Sunday a few years ago at Brentwood United Methodist Church with John & Jaci.

FROM THE FAMILY

Living the life in 1983 on a Caribbean cruise!!!

FROM THE FAMILY

With Bessie Bruno after enjoying another delightful party at her home!

Love that gracious hostess!!

FROM THE FAMILY

Following a "lunch date" at Rafferty's in Nashville with Monica Smith. Both beautiful in purple!

FROM THE FAMILY

Ready to go out on the town!