(NEWNAN, Ga.) The classical author, Thucydides, penned these words. “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but that which is woven into the lives of others.” Life for William “Junior” Terrell Ward Jr. had as humble a beginning as any life could. He was born Dec. 8, 1931, in a wide place of the back roads of Randolph County, Ala., known as Napoleon. He was one of three children born to the late William Terrell Ward Sr. and Jessie Johnson Ward. Following the death of Junior’s birth mother when he was 2 years old, Mr. Ward Sr. married Lois Wilson and together they had five children. Mr. Ward Sr. owned a country store, and with the Depression ravaging the country, Mr. Ward also took his merchandise to his customers in his rolling store, which was a unique feature of farming life at the time. Junior’s first job right out of high school was working on roads and bridges for the Alabama Highway Department. He eventually took college classes and became a licensed engineer in Birmingham. He came along during a time when your common sense carried as much weight as a diploma hanging on the wall. In 1952 he made the greatest discovery of his life when he found the lady who would become his wife. He married Jeanette Martin, whom he had met while working on a road project near her home. The next 63 years would be a continuing love story for this couple until Jeanette’s death in 2015. She would be the one who kept the home fires burning, as Junior’s career and continuing education became a large part of his life. In 1971, Junior accepted a job as an engineer for the FAA and moved his growing family to Newnan, Ga. Their five children had private tutors in the house, as their mother helped with English and their dad spent countless evenings wading through math homework. Junior was the lead engineer during the construction of Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport and was named Employee of the Year in recognition of that fact. He retired in 1988 as the certification safety inspector with the FAA with oversight of airports in Florida, Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands. Junior and Jeanette filled their retirement years with traveling. He loved the beach and prodigiously saved every year to make a trip to Panama City, Fla., a big event for everyone. Junior spent many happy times helping Jeanette with her treasured rose gardens. It became a special token of his love for her to have fresh flowers in their home. Junior was also well known for his devilish pepper sauce. Only the neophyte would sample what he offered them! Junior wore many hats in his storied life, and he wore them all well. For all the knowledge he had acquired in his life, he still followed the Biblical admonition to use words with restraint and used this understanding to be more even tempered.
In addition to his parents and his beloved wife Jeanette, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Lisa Jeanine Ward. Also preceding him in death are his brothers, Milton, Jack, Johnny, Wayne and Larry Ward, and his sister, Lois Zumwalt. His sister, Janie Cobb (Boe) survives him. Junior’s greatest joy in his life was in his children Brian and Sharon Ward, Deanna and Hershell Davis, Carol Ward and Daniel Garland, and Melinda Ward. He was the doting grandfather to Rachel Glover (Justin), Cari King (Alexander), Jacob Hipp (Lily), Taylor Logan, Graham Garland, Zachary Welchel and William Welchel. His great-grandchildren are Jaden, Rylee and Everett Glover. He had a heart as big as all out of doors, softened by his “bonus daughter,” Laura Leschke, his companion cat, Turkey, and innumerable friends. There is an extended family of nephews, nieces and cousins.
The life of this good man will be recalled and many stories shared in a service to be held at Liberty United Methodist Church at 1630 Liberty Rd. in Goodwater. It will be an event on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, at 2 p.m. Interment will be in the church cemetery beside his beloved Jeanette.
Visitation will be at McKoon Funeral Home, 38 Jackson St., Newnan, on Thursday between 5 and 7 p.m. EDT.
Those who may wish to do so, please acknowledge his life with a gift to The Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org.
McKoon Funeral Home & Crematory, Newnan.