Ruthie Fern Ward, 82, of Jefferson City, passed away on Saturday, November 28, 2020, at Heisinger Bluffs.
She was born on May 16, 1938, in Walcott, Arkansas, the daughter of the late Byron and Talmadge (Welch) Billingsley.
She was married on October 26, 1957, in Hernando, Mississippi to Norman L. Ward who survives at the home.
Fern graduated from Leachville High School in 1956. She received her Bachelor of Social Sciences from Arkansas State University in 1961 and a Master’s in Education Administration from the University of Missouri in 1975. Fern continued her education with advanced study towards her Doctorate in Education Administration through the University of Missouri.
Her life was in education through teaching and administration. She began her teaching career at Leachville High School then continued on to Simonsen Junior High School in Jefferson City. She became an assistant principal at Jefferson Junior High, and a principal at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, retiring in 2003.
She was member of Concord Baptist Church and Missouri Retired Teacher Association. Fern was an ombudsman for senior citizens, a docent at the Missouri Governor’s Mansion, and a docent at the Cole County Historical Society.
Fern had a passion to learn and spent her free time reading. She enjoyed antiquing and going to auctions. She thoroughly enjoyed hour long conversations on the phone with each of her sisters. A pillar of strength for her family, Fern loved and cherished being with her grandchildren.
Other survivors include four grandchildren, Sam (Karolina) Ward, Copperas Cove, Texas; twin granddaughters, Elizabeth Ward, Jefferson City; and Caroline (Adam) Bisges, Kansas City; and Eli Cass, Olympia, Washington; seven great-grandchildren; and four sisters, Jackie (Bill) Botts, Jonesboro, Arkansas; Kaye (Sam) Davison, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Holly (Robert) Dunn, Allen, Texas; and Faye (Dan) Rowzie, Charles Town, West Virginia.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Brent Ward; and a sister Jean Billingsley.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorials are suggested to the Fern and Brent Ward Memorial Scholarship Fund at Jefferson City High School, (make checks payable to Jefferson City School District and indicate in memo line to the Fern and Brent Ward Memorial Scholarship) or to the Cole County Historical Society.
Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home, 3210 N. Ten Mile Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109 (573-893-5251) is in charge of arrangements.
Those wishing to post tributes or condolences to the family may do so at her obituary on the www.dulletrimble.com website.
To send flowers to the family in memory of Ruthie Fern Ward, please visit our flower store