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Lucille "Lucy" Ward
January 27, 1942 ~ October 25, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
5 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Lucille "Lucy"'s family - View on Tribute Wall
Lucille Marie Ward, 81, died peacefully Wednesday afternoon, October 25, 2023, after suffering a stroke the Sunday prior. She was surrounded by loved ones as she passed.
Lucy was born in Kewanee, Illinois on January 27, 1942, to Maurice and Irene (Purvis) Van Meir. She was the oldest of four children. Her siblings included brothers Don and Ray and baby sister Maureen. She grew up on a 200-acre farm in Mt. Morris, Illinois. They moved from the farm to a house in Mt. Morris, which is where she was living when she graduated from Mt. Morris High School in 1959. From there, she started nursing school in Rockford, Illinois.
In March 1960, Lucy met Donald Waite during a get together at the dorm where she lived. They dated for a short time and in September 1960, they eloped. Because the rules at the time were that students could not be married while attending nursing school as they had to live in the dorms, Lucy left nursing school to start her life with Don. They had their first child, Dean Howard, on February 5, 1965. He was followed by Toni Marie on April 16, 1970, and Scott Alan on December 6, 1971.
In January 1974, they moved to Ft. Wayne, Indiana for a short time, and then to Phoenix, Arizona in December 1974. The kids all started school at Orangewood Elementary School, and Lucy got the kids involved in sports. Lucy helped coach and was the scorekeeper for both baseball and softball and started friendships with many of the parents. During this time, her marriage ended, which was in 1979 and she became a single parent to the three kids.
She lived in several homes within the same square mile for many years. While there, the kids continued their education and brought home lots of friends that all looked to Lucy like another Mom. She was not just a regular mom…she was a COOL mom. And all of her kids’ friends knew it. Lucy was also her kids’ biggest fan and cheerleader. She never missed a baseball game, a tennis match or a dance performance. Lucy had also been introduced to tennis and loved it. She spent many years playing tennis at the Phoenix Tennis Center where she was a part of several tennis groups. She made many lifelong friends that she associated with to this day.
Lucy worked full time from the time of her divorce until she eventually retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona in 2013. At times, she even worked two jobs simultaneously to make sure her kids had everything they needed.
In 1996, she started dating Ronald Ward, who she had known since the sports days back at Orangewood. They were together for a few years before they eloped on February 26, 2001, with only their best friends Bob and Dale Folz to witness the event. Ron and Lucy were a perfect match. They moved to Sun City West and spent their time enjoying card games with friends, eventually changed from tennis to pickleball, and took many road trips. They became busier in retirement than they ever were when they were working.
One of Lucy’s favorite things to do was spend time with her grandkids. She never passed up an opportunity for a phone call or to share a meal with any of them. They were her pride and joy. She was very much looking forward to becoming GG Lucy this December with the birth of her first great-grandchild.
Lucy was spunky and fearless. She never let age define her and was always willing to try new things. She had just gone on her very first cruise this past August when she and Ron cruised to Alaska. She was selfless and would do anything for anyone. She was tough with a heart of gold and will be dearly missed.
Lucy is preceded in death by her parents, Maurice Van Meir and Irene Van Meir; her brother Don Van Meir and her sister Maureen (Van Meir) Winter; her son Dean Waite; her grandsons Austin and Spencer Chase. She is survived by her husband Ron Ward; brother Raymond (Carol) Van Meir; her daughter Toni Waite (Hugh) Chase; her son Scott Waite; step-daughter Nikki (Ward) Rose; step-son Scott Ward; 8 grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter who will be with us in December.
If sending flowers, please have your florist deliver them to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 7871 West Acoma, Peoria, Arizona between 9:00-9:45 on November 11. However, we do ask that in lieu of flowers, you consider performing an act of kindness for someone else in memory of Lucy.