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Judith Fortune Ward, age 74, passed away at Liberty Hospital in Liberty, Missouri, on June 22, 2021. A longtime Missourian, she is survived by her oldest brother, George Fortune and his wife, Judy; son Michael Ward; daughter Mary Thompson and her husband, Jason, along with granddaughter, Elizabeth; and grandson, Benjamin. She is preceded in death by her parents, the Rev. Albert Fortune and Marion (Harter) Fortune; her sister, Gladys Skelton, and her brother, James Fortune.
Judy was born in Saulsbury, TN and grew up on several farms nearby. She attended Southern Baptist College (now Williams Baptist University) in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, where she married in 1967 (divorced, 1984). She settled around Arcadia Valley for nearly 30 years, having worked at Arcadia Valley Schools for 25 years before retiring in 2007 and moving closer to her grandchildren.
Like many of the Fortunes, she enjoyed a variety of crafts, including crocheting, woodworking, painting, and drawing, but her biggest legacy is the history and stories she collected in her genealogy research. Some of the stories, I fear, are lost.
“I'll be a story in your head. But that's okay: we're all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? Because it was, you know, it was the best…” (Doctor Who, “The Big Bang”)
She was a great storyteller. She knew the perfect word at the perfect time; she was a joy to listen to. The stories she told fill my head, and hers? It was the best, even if it wasn’t the easiest.
In an effort to preserve her legacy and in lieu of a memorial gathering (as family and friends have spread so far away), please share a Fortune family story either below or on her Facebook page.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider a donation to her memorial fund. https://everloved.com/life-of/judith-ward/
Her son, Michael, is in the process of buying some land and constructing a home on it. This will be the first home that will be fully his own, as he has struggled with housing insecurity most of his life. She always wanted the best for her family; to be able to provide what was needed, and giving her son a home was her greatest wish. The donations to the memorial fund will go directly to him in helping him fulfill her dream.
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Judith "Judy" Ward, please visit our Tree Store.
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